1. ITV Report

Police and North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds injured during city clashes

Police with riot shields in Belfast on Friday night. Photo: UTV News

23 police officers and an MP were among those injured during a night of fierce violence in Northern Ireland.

Democratic Unionist Party MP Nigel Dodds was taken to hospital after being struck in the head by a brick when sectarian tensions in North Belfast spilled into violence.

A DUP spokesman said it appears Mr Dodds was hit by a brick or piece of masonry while he was "in and around the police lines" and was talking to the officers.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in West Belfast where a hospital spokeswoman said his condition was stable.

Democratic Unionist Party MP Nigel Dodds, prior to being injured after loyalists clashed police in North Belfast. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman confirmed Mr Dodds had been injured and added that four officers in the area were hurt, three knocked unconscious, and were receiving treatment for their injuries at a local hospital.

Rioting loyalists, some wielding swords, attacked police in a major outbreak of violence in the area, injuring at least seven police officers.

Sticks, fireworks, drain pipes, and part of a wall were hurled at police. Rioters as young as 14 were involved.

Around 20 baton rounds were fired and water cannon used by officers.

Rioting also broke out in East Belfast, where police confirmed they came under attack with a sword and missiles and water cannons were deployed.

One man was arrested for disorderly behaviour and another for provocative behaviour.

Loyalists were responsible for the missile throwing, eyewitnesses said.

One of the injured officers in North Belfast is being treated for head and leg injuries, police said last night.