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  1. ITV Report

Anti-Internment parade passes peacefully in Belfast

The Anti-Internment League gained permission from the Parades Commission for the first time in four years. Credit: UTV

A controversial anti-internment parade has passed peacefully through Belfast city centre.

It is the first time in four years that the Anti-Internment League (AIL) has protested in the city centre, after being granted permission by the Parades Commission.

A significant police operation, including armed officers, was in place on Saturday 11 August.

There were heightened concerns that trouble would erupt as loyalist counter-demonstrations took place along the route of the republican parade.

Loyalists stood at a site where two UDR soldiers were killed in an IRA bomb in 1988.

However, despite a number of verbal exchanges, the protest passed without any violence.

Cllr Jolene Bunting led a counter-protest. Credit: UTV

Independent councillor Jolene Bunting - who organised one of the loyalist counter-demonstrations - said that protestors were angry that the marchers were parading past the site where two UDR soldiers were killed by an IRA bomb.

Unionists had met with PSNI officers yesterday fearful that the march would lead to serious disturbances on the streets but it ended without incident.

The annual parade, which started in 2013, marks the beginning of internment, or detention without trial, which was introduced at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in 1971.