Hijackings, petrol bombs in N Ireland

2011-08-13 21:06
Belfast - Vehicles were hijacked and petrol bombs thrown in Londonderry in Northern Ireland on Saturday, police said, as tensions spilled over surrounding a Protestant parade through the Catholic-majority city.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesperson said a woman and her daughter were dragged from their car during one hijacking as disorder continued in the city centre. Four men have been arrested so far.

"A car was set alight in Fahan Street at about 17:15 and a van hijacked on the Lecky Road," the spokesperson said.

"Several petrol bombs were thrown at the Memorial Hall and at police Land Rovers.

"A car was hijacked in the Creggan Street area at about 18:00. A woman and her daughter were pulled from the vehicle."

The situation was ongoing in certain central streets, she added.

"Attempts are being made to hijack vehicles in these areas. Drivers, particularly of commercial vehicles, are asked to avoid these areas and remain vigilant."

The unrest follows mainland Britain's worst rioting in decades, which started last Saturday in north London but soon spread to other parts of the capital and to cities beyond.

However, disturbances during the annual Protestant marching season are a regular occurrence in Northern Ireland.

As many as 15 000 people and 140 bands were set to turn out for the annual Apprentice Boys parade.

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