BELFAST, Northern Ireland
At least one police officer was injured in ongoing violence in Northern Ireland late Friday, bringing the total number of police injuries to 74.
Rioters gathered in the Tigers Bay Area attacked police with missiles and petrol bombs, before ramming a burning car into police vans.
Police closed roads earlier because of a security alert following the discovery of a suspicious object.
“A number of homes have been evacuated and motorists are advised to avoid the area,” said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
Riots continued until early Saturday.
Unrest in Northern Ireland began when Sinn Fein members attended a crowded funeral on top of tensions caused by Brexit border arrangements, which brought checks on goods shipped between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
The US is also concerned by violence in the country, a White House spokeswoman said Thursday, one day after police were attacked and a public transport bus was set on fire in Belfast.
Unionist parties criticized chief constable of the PSNI, Simon Byrne, for allowing such a gathering despite coronavirus restrictions and demanded his resignation.
Byrne said "the ongoing street disorder must stop.”
Leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein have urged young people for calm.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish premier Micheal Martin stressed that violence was not acceptable.
Meanwhile, crowds were seen on Friday gathering in Falls Road, where predominantly Catholics reside but no clashes with police were reported.
Northern Ireland is remembered for its decades-long sectarian violence and terrorism, which cost the lives of thousands until around 22 years ago.
The Troubles -- an era of conflict between the British government and pro-British paramilitaries on one side and Irish Republicans and nationalists on the other -- ended in 1998 when the Belfast Agreement put an end to decades of armed struggle in the divided UK region of Northern Ireland.
The UK and the Republic of Ireland signed the deal, brokered by the US and eight political parties in Northern Ireland on April 10, 1998.
The deal, dubbed the Good Friday Agreement, largely saw the end of the Troubles-era violence, in which 3,500 people lost their lives.
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