A double-decker bus was completely engulfed in flames after being bombed by bombs near Northern Ireland’s “peace wall” – in the fourth night of violence that has injured at least 55 officers, authorities said.
Wild video shared by The Sun shows the red bus slowly crawling through a street in Belfast late on Wednesday as a crowd of black-clad young men fired petrol bombs at it.
It was soon completely engulfed in flames, with huge clouds of black smoke rising into the air – later leaving only charred remains left on the ground.
“This is not a protest. This is vandalism and attempted murder, “tweeted Prime Minister Arlene Foster along with footage of the bus attack, calling it”
The violence is blamed for escalating frustration over new trade barriers after Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK after Brexit.
Gates were set on fire on a “peace wall” – which separated pro-Irish nationalist and pro-British trade unions since the “Problems” began more than 50 years ago – when crowds threw petrol bombs over it.
Footage shows groups standing around fires on the wall in front of a sign that reads, “There was never a good war or a bad peace.”
Hundreds of people gathered on both sides of a gate in the wall and “committed serious criminal acts, both attacking the police and attacking each other,” said the police service of Northern Ireland’s assistant chief, Jonathan Roberts.
At least seven officers were injured in Wednesday’s violence – bringing the total to 55 wounded for at least four nights this week, Roberts said.
“These are scenes that we have not seen in Northern Ireland for a very long time, these are scenes that many people thought were broadcast to history,” Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney told national television station RTE.
“This must stop before anyone is killed or seriously injured,” he said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said he was “concerned about the scenes of violence.”
“The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or crime,” he tweeted.
Brexit upset the political balance in Northern Ireland, with some identifying themselves as British and wanting to remain part of Britain, while others see themselves as Irish and seeking unity with the Republic of Ireland, an EU member. Both sides blame each other for the current violence.
There is also anger that Sinn Fein politicians who attended the funeral of a former Irish Republican Army Chief of Staff (IRA) last year were not prosecuted for violating coronavirus rules at mass rallies.
Authorities have accused banned paramilitary groups of inciting youth to cause chaos.
“We saw young people engaging in serious disorder and committing serious criminal acts, and they were supported and encouraged, and the acts were arranged by adults at certain times,” said Roberts, the senior police officer.
With mail cables