An unnamed loyalist terror group has threatened to kill Northern Ireland's police officers and members of the Parades Commission following the violence that erupted in Belfast during the marching season.
The group, who have so far not claimed affiliation with any other loyalist organisation, issued a statement threatening the "legitimate targets", along with a photograph of three armed masked men in camouflage-style clothing.
At least 24 police officers were injured after clashes with loyalists during the Twelfth of July parade in north Belfast.
A 16-year-old girl was also injured after a vehicle drove through a group of Catholics on Crumlin Road in Ardoyne. The Orange Order parade, marking the 325th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, was banned from marching down Crumlin Road – an area that separates nationalist and unionist communities.
Following the disorder, the unnamed loyalist terror group said: "In the light of what has happened in north Belfast today we have no other option but to issue this statement. After today's brutal assault upon the PUL [Protestant Unionist Loyalist] community and the random firing of baton rounds aimed to seriously injure our people we are left with no other option but to announce the Police Service of Northern Ireland [PSNI] and Parades Commission are legitimate targets.
"We do not want to take this course of action but our people have suffered enough over the last few years and we as disengaged and disgruntled loyalists feel like the time has come for us to take action. No Surrender."
The PSNI said they are aware of the "deplorable" threats, which were first made to Northern Irish media.
Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: "We are aware that a very concerning photograph and statement have been circulated to some local media outlets today, which we are investigating. Threatening the lives of serving police officers, staff and members of the Parades Commission for simply doing their jobs is sickening and deplorable.
He added: "Threats against police or any other body have to be completely rejected and condemned by society and I am sure that the vast majority of people will stand with us and roundly denounce these vile threats and the individuals who made them."
First Minister Peter Robinson and the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland condemned the violence in Belfast, which saw one officer having his ear "effectively severed" after being struck by a brick.
Some officers were also injured as they attempted to rescue the teenage girl from underneath the car at Ardoyne.
Martin added: "Police officers at the scene quickly moved to stop the vehicle, and indeed a number of officers were struck by the vehicle, detained and subsequently arrested the occupant of the car, which was one sole driver. They then physically lifted the vehicle up onto its side to recover the young girl who was trapped underneath.
"Police then rendered first aid to the young girl while we waited for the ambulance to arrive. Thankfully I am able to report that the hospital is indicating that the girl's injuries are not life-threatening."
A man has since been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the incident.