- 6 updates
Twelfth of July parades in Belfast have passed off peacefully, according to UTV reporter Marc Mallett.
Three men were stabbed in the early hours of Saturday morning in sectarian clashes ahead of the parades.
Three people have been stabbed in Belfast as the city prepares for annual Twelfth of July celebrations.
Bonfires are traditionally lit in Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night, but the occasion this year coincided with sectarian conflict and fighting.
In one case a gang of around 40 republicans and loyalists had to be separated by police.
The three victims, aged 28, 21 and 19, were injured in separate attacks in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Eight people have been arrested for public order offences in north and west Belfast overnight. Trouble flared during the Eleventh Night, an annual marching season celebration involving the lighting of bonfires.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) assistant chief constable Will Kerr said:
A man has been stabbed during fighting between republican and loyalist factions in Northern Ireland ahead of the annual 'Twelfth of July' commemorations.
The victim, 28, was treated in hospital for injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman said: "At approximately 3.10am, police received a report that a man had been stabbed and that rival factions were fighting in the area [...] Police attended the area and the two groups were separated at approximately 3.30am."
The violence happened at the Ormeau bridge, an arterial link which separates predominantly nationalist and unionist residential areas.
Orange Order marches through northern Belfast have thus far gone by peacefully, UTV's Marc Mallet reports.
Orangemen and women have been urged to post "selfies" on the biggest day of the Protestant marching calendar.
Police and Orangemen have expressed hopes violence will be averted in Northern Ireland today as protests are expected against a restriction on the "Glorious 12th" marches in Belfast.
The annual parade marks the Battle of the Boyne, the Protestant victory over Catholic troops in 1690.
But up to 50 protests are planned this evening in anger at the Parades Commission decision to prevent Orange lodge members walking along a section of the Crumlin Road next to the nationalist Ardoyne neighbourhood.
Grand Lodge of Ireland Grand Secretary Drew Nelson said every effort had been made to deliver a peaceful day.
"I would have a message for young protestants or any protestant or unionist who feels strongly about what's happening now - if you lift a stone or a bottle on the Twelfth day you are falling into a republican trap," he said.