Jan 12 - Police use water cannon and fire at least one plastic bullet as protesters take to streets in latest outbreak of unrest connected to the removal of British flag from Belfast City Hall. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Police in Northern Ireland fired water cannon and at least one plastic bullet round at rioters after they were attacked with bricks and bottles in the latest outbreak of anger at the removal of the British flag from Belfast City Hall. Hundreds of other protesters brought large areas of Belfast to a standstill on Friday (January 11), shutting at least a dozen roads and forcing the shut-down of the city's bus service. The unrest over the past five weeks has been some of the most sustained in the British-controlled province since a 1998 peace deal ended 30 years of conflict between Catholic Irish nationalists seeking union with Ireland and Protestant loyalists determined to remain part of the United Kingdom. Loyalists have held nightly protests since nationalist councillors voted last month to end a century-old tradition of flying the British union flag every day over the city hall, exposing a deep vein of discontent with the peace deal. Loyalist politicians have joined their nationalist rivals in condemning the violence, but they have been unable to prevent groups of young men draped in British flags from clashing with police.