N. Ireland Secretary condemns Belfast flag protests

The Minister for Northern Ireland has condemned those who threw a petrol bomb into a police vehicle in Belfast while an officer was still inside.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has described the attack and Monday night’s protests as “disgraceful rioting” and “despicable”.

“Clearly, we’ve had an attempted murder of a female colleague. What can I say except I am very angry. I’m saddened that the future of young people has been put at risk and I call upon everybody now to join with us in calming this down,” said Chief Constable of Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Matt Baggott.

The policewoman in the car was unharmed, but more than 30 other officers have been injured in over a week of violence.

Two unexploded bombs were seized from dissidents and an MP was sent death threats.

Loyalists are angry about the decision to take down the union flag which has been flying above Belfast City Hall for decades. It will now only be raised on 17 days each year.

Leading figures in the two main unionist parties are meeting to discuss how to end the violence.