Towering bonfires decked out in Irish and EU flags were set ablaze across Belfast, Northern Ireland as Eleventh Night saw cars burned out, a bus hijack and a pipe bomb incident.
The bonfire night takes place on the eve of July 12, also known as Orangemen’s Day, which marks Protestant William of Orange’s victory over Catholic King James in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Large bonfires are constructed around Northern Ireland in the weeks leading up to the 11th, with police on high alert to remove the largest stacks of wooden pallets before they are lit.
The night saw numerous incidents including petrol bombs being thrown at police and several cars being burned out, the Belfast Telegraph reports. A bus was hijacked by masked men and burned out after it was set on fire in Down, and bomb disposal teams were deployed after a pipe bomb-like device detonated in east Belfast. Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) received more than 300 emergency calls and went to 57 bonfire-related call outs.
Police are currently in attendance after a bus was set on fire in the Westwinds Estate this evening. At around 7.30pm it was reported that a number of masked men, one carrying a suspected firearm, hijacked the bus in Blenheim Drive before setting it on fire.
— PSNI (@PoliceServiceNI) July 11, 2018
The day is celebrated by the mainly-Protestant Unionist community while the largely-Catholic nationalist section of society shuns the festivities.
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