Belfast riots injure eight police

A flag with images of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge flutters in East Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Anger over flags has lead to rioting in Northern Ireland, leaving police injured. The troubles began when the Belfast City Council voted to stop waving a British flag from Belfast City Hall year-round. The decision angered pro-British loyalists in Northern Ireland, so much so that they sent death threats to East Belfast lawmaker Naomi Long, the Guardian reported.

While the loyalist political parties have officially condemned the rioting, many loyalist youths draped in British flags caused major destruction in Belfast. They threw bricks and petrol bombs at police, Reuters reported. Police arrested seven people so far. 

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At least eight police officers were injured in Northern Ireland overnight, the AFP reported. And 15 police officers were injured last Monday. The area has a history of violence; 3,500 people died in three decades of clashes between Northern Irish Protestants who wanted to be part of the British union, against Catholics who wanted an independent, unified Ireland. Bill Clinton helped secure a peace agreement between the two sides in the 1990s.

Now it is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton trying to ease tensions. "It has been a sad reminder unfortunately that despite how hardy the peace has been, there are still those who not only would test it but try to destroy it," she said, NBC reported