Jul 12 2012
Scuffles have broken out as a contentious parade passed through North Belfast.
Nationalist protesters clashed with police after Orange Order marches had proceeded by the Ardoyne shops interface peacefully. Punches were thrown but the area is now quiet.
The security forces are on the alert for more violence this evening when the parade returns but Orangemen say a peaceful solution was reached on Wednesday night following talks with community groups.
The Twelfth of July represents the culmination of the loyal orders marching season.
Ten people were arrested overnight during separate disorder in the Broadway area of West Belfast. Nine remain in police custody.
Hundreds of anti-riot police are on duty amid fears of street disorder in north Belfast after a big Orange Order demonstration in the city.
Politicians on all sides as well as Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson appealed for calm in the Catholic Ardoyne district where dissident republicans are to protest against the returning parade by some Orangemen from neighbouring Protestant districts.
There has been major trouble before at this particular flashpoint at the end of the traditional Twelfth of July rallies when police were attacked with petrol bombs and bricks by gangs of masked men opposed to the Sinn Fein peace process strategy of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.
Belfast Orangemen said they had agreed a solution which would allow a peaceful return parade following a ruling that they proceed home earlier than normal from the main demonstration field.
The chairman of the Police Federation, Terry Spence, who represents almost 7,000 rank and file officers who called for restraint, said: "No yard of road is worth either an injury or the death of a police officer or a member of the public. The parade should not become a day of shame for both communities."