September 1, 2009 / 6:57 AM / 10 years ago

Police use plastic bullets to quell Belfast riot

BELFAST (Reuters) - Police in British-controlled Northern Ireland fired plastic bullets late on Monday night to stop a riot involving around 200 people in East Belfast.

Pro-Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists lobbed missiles at each other and the police in a clash sparked after nationalists held a rally to mark the closing of a local police station.

A police spokesman said there were no arrests and no reports of injuries.

Sectarian violence between Protestants who want to keep Northern Ireland’s union with Britain and Catholics who want a united Ireland continues to erupt despite a 1998 peace deal that ended rival paramilitary campaigns.

Monday night’s riot was in a so-called “interface area” of Belfast, where the two communities live in close and uneasy proximity.

Reporting by Anne Cadwallader; editing by Carmel Crimmins

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