POLICE have now revealed further details of attacks on officers at bonfires built by “hoods and criminals” in Belfast.
The PSNI say a total of eight officers were injured during trouble in parts of north and west Belfast on the eve of August 9 – the anniversary of internment.
Belfast’s Sinn Fein Lord Mayor Mairtin O’Muilleoir condemned the violence.
He tweeted on Friday morning: “Work should begin now to prevent anti-social August bonfires next year.
“They are not wanted and are an excuse for mayhem and attacks on police.”
In the New Lodge Road area, one police officer was attacked with a sword as violence erupted.
In response to the violence, police fired two ATP baton rounds in an effort to disperse troublemakers.
In west Belfast, a number of police officers were injured during trouble at a bonfire in west Belfast built by “hoods and criminal”.
Earlier on Thursday, Irish News reporter Allison Morris was attacked by drunken hoods at the site with bottles. She escaped uninjured.
The PSNI said several people were arrested following the outbreak of violence in the Divis Street area on Thursday night.
In total, eight people were arrested over the trouble in north and west Belfast.
Sinn Fein denied the Divis Street bonfire had anything to do with marking the anniversary of internment.
The party said the bonfire had been built by “hoods and criminals” and called on the media not to refer to it as an ‘anti-internment’ bonfire’.
Hours earlier, a loyalist painting made by a young girl was stolen from a wall in south Belfast and placed for a time on Divis ‘hoods’ bonfire.
However, it was later removed.
UUP MLA Michael McGimpsey called for it to be returned to its rightful place in Sandy Row.
Police are currently investigating the theft.