Three Northern Irish police shot

Crowds of up to 200 people threw petrol bombs during overnight disturbances, in which three police officers were shot.

BELFAST // Three police officers were shot and injured during overnight disturbances in Belfast, Northern Irish police said today. Crowds of up to 200 people threw petrol bombs and other objects during the violence, which started shortly before midnight, police said. "Their injuries are not believed to be serious at this time," a police spokeswoman said. It was unclear what the exact reasons for the unrest were, but independent police watchdog the Northern Ireland Policing Board said violence was directed at police.

Marches are due to take place later today to mark the culmination of a season of parades by Protestant groups who want the province to remain British, events which every year raise tensions with Catholics in favour of a united Ireland. * Reuters