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In N. Ireland, Police Hope To Avert Future Riots

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, the last two nights have brought the worst street clashes the city has seen in a decade.

(SOUNDBITE OF FIREWORKS)

PHILIP REEVES: Masked youths throw fireworks, bricks and gasoline bombs.

(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLOSIONS)

REEVES: But after the peace agreement of 1998, violence like this became a rarity.

(SOUNDBITE OF FIREWORKS)

REEVES: Photographer Peter Muhley was there.

PETER MUHLEY: And I looked back and there was somebody peering over the wall and he shot about, I would say, five or six rounds. And we all were - we were all just running. Next thing I know, a colleague of mine, he yells: I've been shot, I've been shot.

REEVES: Michael Doherty is director of Northern Ireland's Peace and Reconciliation Group.

MICHAEL DOHERTY: I think they're a group of Ulster Volunteer Force members who are saying that the dividend, that the peace dividend hasn't come their way.

REEVES: But they are still causing considerable concern, says Assistant Chief Constable of Northern Ireland Police, Alistair Finlay.

ALISTAIR FINLAY: This is a bad thing for the community. It's a bad thing for Northern Ireland. We need to listen and hear what the issues are and bring an end to this needless violence - this violence which has put lives at risk.

REEVES: Philip Reeves, NPR News, London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.