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The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have issued a statement following clashes between loyalist and republican protesters over the flying over the Union flag. A PSNI spokesperson said:
Police have said that 29 officers were injured during sectarian clashes in east Belfast over the flying of the Union flag.
Chief Constable Matt Baggott said it was a difficult operation dealing with a large number of people determined to cause disorder and violence.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has responded to clashes in Belfast between loyalist and republican protesters over Belfast council's decision to restrict the flying of the Union flag.
Mr Adams said there should be a cross-community response. He added:
"But there can be no going back. The tiny minorities who want to cling to the past must be rejected. Sectarianism must be tackled and ended."
The Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt has appealed for calm to allow talks to make progress, as clashes between loyalist and republican protesters continue in Belfast. Mr Nesbitt said:
Community leaders have come out on the streets of Belfast in an attempt to stop clashes between loyalists and republicans. ITV's Emily Morgan reports that violence has descended into "chaos", but continues to be "contained".
Five police have now been injured in clashes between loyalists and republicans in east Belfast over the council's decision to limit the number of days the Union flag is flown from City Hall.
Ireland's Tanaiste (deputy leader) Eamonn Gilmore has said that unrest in Belfast over the Union flag has "nothing to do with real issues", after more than 40 days of road blocks and sporadic violence by loyalists have failed to produce a solution in Belfast.
Mr Gilmore said:
Water canons were deployed and a non-lethal baton round has been fired by riot police against protesters, demonstrating over the Belfast council's decision to limit the number of days the Union flag is flown from City Hall.
Latest ITV News reports
Twenty-nine police officers were injured during sectarian riots between republicans and loyalists in east Belfast today.
The union flag will be raised at dawn over Belfast City Hall for the first time since the dispute began last month.