4 Jan 2013

Belfast rioters hurl petrol bombs

7:03 pm on 4 January 2013

Eight police officers have been injured in Belfast after being pelted with petrol bombs in the latest violence sparked by the city council's decision not to fly the British flag all year round.

Police said one officer needed hospital treatment as around 100 loyalist protesters attacked police.

Tensions have risen in the province since councillors voted on 3 December to limit the number of days the Union Jack can fly over the City Hall to 17, outraging loyalists who believe Northern Ireland should retain strong links to Britain.

AAP reports that royalists have held protests, often violent, in several parts of Northern Ireland since the ruling.