NI police car petrol-bombed

A police car with an officer inside was petrol-bombed outside the Belfast office of an Alliance MP in an attack by around 15 masked people. Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers will make an urgent statement to the Commons this afternoon.

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First Minister of Northern Ireland: 'Please cancel protests'

Alliance office in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The First Minister of Northern Ireland has appealed to Unionists to cancel a planned protest in Belfast city centre on Saturday.

Peter Robinson said that "street protests should be suspended by those responsible for organising them in the wider interests of a peaceful society".

Will Kerr, the Assistant Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said that "to encourage thousands of people to come to Belfast city centre on one of the busiest days of the year would be madness".

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive in Belfast tomorrow.

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Alliance councillors' home attacked

Two Alliance councillors in Bangor, Northern Ireland have spoken of their shock after their front window was smashed following a controversial vote on future of the Union flag at Belfast City Council.

Michael and Christine Bower say they are worried for the safety of the 17-month-old daughter after vandals smashed their front window with a paint bomb.

Alliance councillor Christine Bower's, with her 17 month old daughter Grace, at their home in Bangor, Co Down, Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire
Alliance councillors, Michael and Christine Bower's, with their 17 month old daughter Grace, Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Chief Whip of Alliance visits his damaged office

Stewart Dickson with Alastair McDonnell in Carrickfergus Credit: SDLPlive

The Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party Alistair McDonnell has met with Stewart Dickenson MLA of the Alliance Party to view the damage caused to Mr Dickenson's offices in Carrickfergus by vandals overnight.

Both parties have joined with Leaders from Nationalist and Unionist groups to appeal for calm ahead of a visit by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Alliance offices targeted by Loyalists over flag decision

The offices of the non-sectarian Alliance Party in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, were targeted because its members on Belfast City Council voted to restrict the flying of the Union flag at Belfast City Hall.

Offices in east Belfast belonging to the party's only MP, Naomi Long, have been picketed and one councillor was advised not to return to her home because of fears for her life.

An office belonging to a charity for the disabled was also believed to have been damaged in tonight's fire.

The violence came after a crowd of up to 1,600 protested the decision for the Union flag to be flown only on designated days.

The Council decision saw serious street disorder in Belfast on Monday night, when Loyalists rioted and at one stage attempted to smash their way into the City Hall.

Carrickfergus violence is 'outright attack on democracy'

East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson, whose constituency office is understood to have been set on fire during tonight's violence in Carrickfergus, has said: "This is an outright attack on democracy and cannot be allowed to continue."

His Alliance Party has confirmed it has requested the Northern Ireland Assembly be recalled in light of the trouble. The Party also said it is demanding answers from Unionists.

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