Water cannons and baton rounds were used on the second night of violence. (BBC)
Water cannons and baton rounds were used on the second night of violence. (BBC) Reuters

More than 60 police officers have been injured in two nights of sectarian violence in north Belfast.

Fifteen officers were injured during the second night of violence in the Northern Irish capital, with three taken to hospital.

Police fired baton rounds and used water cannons against crowds in the Carlisle Circus area of Belfast, while rioters hurled petrol bombs, fireworks, rocks and stones before hijacking a van and pushing it towards police lines.

Terry Spence, chairman of the Northern Ireland Police Federation, said of his officers: "Their bravery and courage is in stark contrast to that of the cowardly thugs responsible for trying to murder them."

The disorder followed a night of trouble sparked by a march by a republican band through a loyalist area.

Assistant chief constable Will Kerr said seven arrests were made, adding: "I am saddened and angry that again we find ourselves subject to serious violence from the communities we serve.

"The community of north Belfast needs to see a resolution to this issue now.

"We cannot afford to wait and we cannot have night after night of violence on our streets. Following two nights of disorder, we have a number of police officers who are no longer available to deliver their core policing duties, protecting the communities they serve.

"The huge impact on Northern Ireland cannot be ignored. As we strive to promote our positive image, the negative effect of these violent pictures on jobs, tourism and investment cannot be underestimated. We do not want to take a backward step.

"I urge all those with influence to urgently use it to bring a resolution to the violence and work towards a longer-term solution for the issues affecting this area," he said.