POLICE are caught in the middle of a Belfast city centre street battle tonight as loyalists and republican riot.
A republican anti-internment rally has now broken through police lines in North Queen Street and is heading for Royal Avenue after being held up for nearly an hour.
Crowds have surged forward past police officers shouting at them to stop.
In other parts of the city centre, republican crowds have gathered in Castle Street, Kent Street and Library Street, not far from where up to 2,000 loyalists are holding a protest and refusing to move from the street.
Both sets of protestors have thrown missiles at police who are finding it almost impossible to keep control of the crowds.
Three police officers, including one female, have been injured and taken to hospital for treatment.
The female police officer had to be treated at the scene by a member of the public while being shield by riot cops.