Brexit instigator Boris Johnson has condemned violence that again broke out on the streets of Northern Ireland, after a bus was hijacked and set on fire.
The bus was set alight after being pelted with petrol bombs at the junction of Lanark Way and Shankill Road in west Belfast, the PSNI said.
It was one of a number of incidents on Wednesday evening that took place on the peace line street that links the loyalist Shankill Road with the nationalist Springfield Road.
Writing on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: “I am deeply concerned by the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland, especially attacks on PSNI who are protecting the public and businesses, attacks on a bus driver and the assault of a journalist.
“The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality.”
How it started How it’s going pic.twitter.com/7vLGjspfGM— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) April 7, 2021
The Northern Ireland Executive is to meet on Thursday morning to be briefed on the situation.
Leaders will meet for the briefing at 10am, an hour before the Stormont Assembly is to be recalled to discuss the recent scenes of violence.
News of the Executive meeting was confirmed late on Wednesday night with trouble still raging on the streets of Belfast.
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “The Executive will meet tomorrow morning to be briefed on the violence and street disorder which is causing huge distress in local communities at this time.
“Those involved in violence, criminal damage, manipulation of our young people and attacks on the police must stop.”
The lies put on the side of a bus five years ago almost cost a bus driver his life tonight. Deep concern isn’t enough. When are you going to start owning this mess? https://t.co/5uhMAQfd54— Patrick Kielty (@PatricKielty) April 7, 2021
It follows several nights of unrest in loyalist communities amid tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol on Brexit and the PSNI’s handling of alleged coronavirus regulation breaches by Sinn Fein at the funeral of republican Bobby Storey.
Stones were thrown at police while a press photographer was assaulted nearby during the course of their work on Wednesday evening.
Later on Wednesday night, the gates of the peace line on Lanark Way were opened, leading to clashes between loyalists and nationalists.
Social media footage captured petrol bombs being thrown from both sides of the wall.