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PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott said that some of the violence was intense and there was t.
It was fortunate someone was not seriously injured, he claimed, adding that the situation in some areas was very tense.
The shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker has reacted to tonight's violence in Belfast:
Alliance Leader David Ford has stated that police officers could have been killed in a petrol bomb attack on their vehicle outside the Alliance Party Office of Naomi Long MP.
The attack on the police car took place outside the office of the Alliance Party deputy leader Naomi Long in east Belfast.
She has said there "can be no justification for the vicious attacks."
One bomb device exploded in Belfast close to a patrol car parked near the offices of the East Belfast MP Naomi Long, a member of the non-sectarian Alliance Party who has been warned her life is under threat.
Last week Ms Long was told by police to stay away from her home and her office on the Newtownards Road because of fears for her safety. Constituency offices used by the party were also attacked in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim and Bangor, Co Down.
Today's violence follows a council decision to limit the flying of the Union flag to designated days only. Ms Long's Alliance Party has been blamed by the loyalists for supporting the nationalist SDLP and Sinn Fein in pushing through the vote to lower the flag.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable, George Hamilton has condemned the attack on a patrol car and said they are treating it as attempted murder:
The windows of the petrol-bombed police car were attacked while an officer was still inside the vehicle.
A police officer was also waiting outside the vehicle. Both officers escaped unhurt.
Latest ITV News reports
For the first time in over a centenary the Union flag no longer flies over Belfast City Hall, sparking outrage in the loyalist community