Three Northern Irish policemen have been injured and over two dozen injured as shots were fired in Northern Ireland on Sunday night, on the eve of Orange Order celebrations.

The annual Orange Order celebrations are to honor the 17th century battlefield victory over Irish Catholics.

Chief Superintendent, Mark Hamilton said “We have appealed for calm in the run-up to the Twelfth of July and we continue to do so.

We would appeal to anyone with influence in the community to exert it to ensure that the next few days pass off without incident.”

Over 200 people three petrol bombs, stones and bottles in North Belfast on Sunday. Luckily the police were not seriously injured.

The trouble began on Sunday night at 11.45pm. Police used water cannons and baton rounds to subdue the crowds.

Crowds became violent when the police attempted to separate those attending the traditional Eleventh Night bonfires on Donegal Road from the nationalist Broadway area.

Each year the pro-British Protestant groups burn Irish flags and photographs of politicians with Catholic backgrounds.
The BBC reported that at least one car was hijacked and set on fire.

The Chief Superintendent said the rioters caused “mayhem and destruction.”

“These officers were doing their jobs, were policing their local community and have been attacked whilst doing so.
"This is utterly wrong and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

"Those involved in tonight's violence were intent on causing mayhem and destruction.

"We responded to this disorder immediately and officers put themselves in danger in order to restore normal and calm to the area for the residents who live there. No-one wants a return to this type of behavior."

On Saturday, a bomb destroyed a bridge in Northern Ireland in an attack police said was also targeted at the police.

An investigation is now under way into the disturbances.