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Belfast police station bombed { June 6 2002 }

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Thursday 6 June 2002

Police station petrol bombed
(Filed: 06/06/2002)

A west Belfast police station came under intense petrol bomb attack during the night as street violence continued to spread across the city, police said today.

The fortified base in the nationalist Springfield Road was hit by an estimated 50 petrol bombs. Police said 30 people, all masked, appeared outside the station just before midnight, hurled their bombs in the space of two minutes and disappeared.

Damage was restricted to minor scorching to the main gate. Earlier in the evening the station was targeted by stone throwing youths.

In south Belfast rival gangs clashed on the interface Ormeau Bridge and pelted each other with stones. There were also reports of a number of cars being damaged.

The Ormeau area has in recent years been the focus of a bitter dispute between nationalists living in the lower end of the road and Protestant Orangemen over attempts to parade through the Catholic end of the area.

East Belfast, the scene of serious rioting and shootings since last Friday, was relatively calm although sporadic trouble was reported, including a gun attack on two houses.

But the home of a 70-year-old woman in west Belfast's Broadway area was damaged in a pipe bomb attack.

The front door and a window were damaged by the explosion, said police. Minutes before the explosion a car was spotted driving at speed in the area, reported locals.

In east Belfast six people escaped injury when single shots were fired into the living rooms of two houses in the Short Strand area. Nationalists said the shots came from the loyalist side of the peace line. Police said they were investigating the incident as a case of attempted murder.

Loyalists also took to the streets in the Newtownards Road where there have been bitter street clashes since Friday. But police said the protest was peaceful. Gunfire was reported in the area of Bryson Street where earlier yesterday it was alleged by loyalists that a republican mob attacked a teenage girl.

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