During the evening reports were received of large groups of people gathering in the Springfield Road and Lanark Way areas.

Police attended and came under attack from youths throwing petrol bombs, bottles, fireworks and masonry.

Shortly after 9pm, a report was received that a car had been hijacked in the area and the windows of the vehicle smashed.

The car was subsequently pushed toward police lines and officers once again came under attack.

The water cannon was deployed in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

During the course of the evening, two men aged 24 and 32 years old were arrested for riotous behaviour and both remain in police custody.

Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts said: “During last night’s disorder a total of 19 officers and a police dog sustained injuries.

“Since last week, a total of 74 of our officers have been injured during these violent attacks.

“This activity must stop.

“I would like to thank community representatives who worked last night to try and prevent this disorder and I am, once again, appealing for calm and asking all of those with influence to work with us to stop any further disorder or rioting.

“We know that young people are involved in this disorder and they need to quickly realise that engaging in this type of behaviour is not only risking their safety, they also their futures.

“Parents and guardians, please speak to your children and explain the consequences of becoming involved in this senseless activity.

“We will continue to work to identify those involved in this disorder and bring them before the courts. By working with the community, political representatives and other partners, we aim to ensure that this violence is brought to an end immediately.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that will assist the investigation to contact us on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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