Loyalists ‘pulling rioters’ strings’

Police were attacked with paint bombs and petrol bombs during Tuesday night's violence on the O'Neill Road. At least two vehicles were burnt out during the disturbance. INNT 30-600con
Police were attacked with paint bombs and petrol bombs during Tuesday night's violence on the O'Neill Road. At least two vehicles were burnt out during the disturbance. INNT 30-600con
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Loyalist paramilitaries have been blamed for “pulling the strings” of teenage rioters after trouble in the O’Neill Road area in recent nights.

Police came under attack first on Saturday and then again on Sunday and Monday nights.

The scale of the trouble was much lower than previous incidents, however Sunday night saw possibly the worst of the trouble, with at least two cars hijacked and riot police having to step in.

Around 200 people had gathered in the area to watch, with a small group of youths, actively engaged in violence.

Sources have told the Times it was “obvious” paramilitaries were orchestrating the violence.

Later, four youths aged 15, and an 18-year-old, were arrested and charged with rioting offences.

On Tuesday night violence again flared with police being attacked with paint bombs, petrol bombs and other missiles.

It’s thought around 30 youths were actively engaged in the trouble.

Two juveniles ages 12 and 15 were arrested during the disturbance.

“It’s sickening when you see young people involved, but it was obvious paramilitaries were pulling their strings without getting their hands dirty,” said a Times source.