A double-decker bus was engulfed in flames after it was bombed by rebels near the “peace wall” in Northern Ireland – on the fourth night of violence, in which at least 55 cops were injured, authorities said.
A wild video shared by The Sun shows a red bus slowly crawling across a street in Belfast late Wednesday as a crowd of black-clad young men exploded with petrol bombs.
It was soon completely engulfed in flames, with huge streams of black smoke rising in the air, leaving only charred remains on the ground.
“This is not a protest. This is vandalism and an assassination attempt, “First Minister Arlene Foster wrote on Twitter, along with footage of the bus attack, calling it a”
Violence has been blamed for escalating frustration over new post-Brexit trade barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
The gates were placed on a “peace wall” – separating pro-Irish nationalist and UK-united communities since the “Problems” began more than 50 years ago – as crowds dropped petrol bombs on it.
The footage shows groups standing around fires on the wall in front of a sign that reads, “There has never been a good war or a bad peace.”
Several hundred people gathered on either side of the gate in the wall, “committing serious crimes by attacking the police and attacking each other,” said Jonathan Roberts, assistant chief of police in Northern Ireland.
At least seven police officers were injured in Wednesday’s violence – resulting in a total of 55 injuries in at least four nights this week, Roberts said.
“These are scenes we haven’t seen in Northern Ireland in a very long time, they are scenes that many people thought were sent down in history,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Cowney told national television 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 has upset the political balance in Northern Ireland, where some identify as British and want to remain part of the United Kingdom, while others see themselves as Irish and seek 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 commander of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) last year were not prosecuted for violating coronavirus rules at mass gatherings.
Authorities have accused illegal paramilitary groups of inciting young people to wreak havoc.
“We saw young people involved in serious disorder and committing serious crimes, and they were supported and encouraged, and the actions were organized by adults at certain times,” said Roberts, a senior police officer.
With postal wires