A man stands in front of a burning double-decker bus which
was hijacked and set alight by loyalists in the Rathcoole
Estate, Belfast. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Hundreds of pro-British youths blocked roads across
Belfast and set a double-decker bus on fire in the latest
protests against a decision to remove the British flag from
Belfast City Hall.
The vote late last year to end a century-old tradition of
flying the flag has sparked some of the most sustained street
violence in the British-controlled province since a 1998
peace deal ended 30 years of tit-for-tat killings.
Loyalist politicians, who want to maintain a union with
Britain, have joined their Nationalist rivals, who want a
united Ireland, in condemning the violence.
But they have been unable to prevent groups of young men
draped in British flags from clashing with police on an
almost nightly basis.
Police said at least eight roads around the city had been
closed by protesters. Over 100 gathered at the Rathcoole
estate in north Belfast and set fire to a bus, a Reuters
Television footage showed dozens of protesters at two other
points in the city and at least 200 protesters gathered in
the nearby town of Glengormley.