Violence at Orange march flashpoint
12/07/2004 - 20:39:15

Loyalists and Nationalists pelted each other with missiles tonight as Orangemen marched through a bitterly contested north Belfast flashpoint.

Stones, bottles and golf balls were hurled as several hundred on either side were kept apart by a massive security operation in the Ardoyne district.

Rival factions were also involved in a developing standoff along neighbouring backstreets as police and soldiers attempted to stop the controversial parade plunging into all out violence.

Youths attacked riot squad troops amid heightening tensions over the hotly disputed decision to impose restrictions on the Orange order returning from the annual city centre Twelfth demonstration through the staunchly Catholic area.

At one stage a crowd of nationalists seized control of army batons and shields and attacked a small pocket of soldiers who were hemmed in around their Land Rover.

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