Nine officers have been injured during disorder last night (Monday, 5th April) bringing the total number of police officers injured during recent violence to 41.

Last night's disorder occurred in Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus and Ballymena and started shortly after 6pm. There was also disorder in Derry/Londonderry.

During the disorder in these areas, petrol bombs and masonry were thrown at officers as they worked to restore order in the areas.

The nine officers were injured during disorder in Ballymena after Tactical Support Group officers were attacked after police attempted to engage with those present at an un-notified procession in the town, in the Crebilly Road area, at around 9:35pm. The officers are expected to be able to return to duty today.

During the night, as a result of the disorder in Ballymena, a stretch of the M2 was closed to allow debris to be cleared from the carriageway, including a wheelie bin, that had been thrown onto the motorway.

In relation to the disorder in Carrickfergus, an 18-year-old man was arrested last night on suspicion of possessing articles for use with petrol bombs, and he remains in custody assisting with enquiries.

North Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said: "The disorder we witnessed last night, and which our officers had to deal with, is extremely disappointing. Yet again we have seen people make a deliberate decision to damage our communities and target our officers. Not only did their reckless and criminal behaviour place the lives of our officers in danger, but such senseless behaviour shows the blatant disregard those responsible have for the safety of others by throwing debris onto a motorway. It is extremely fortunate no one was seriously injured, or worse.

"As your Police Service we are here to protect life and property and to keep people safe, and we will continue to do that. However, I am calling on all those who have influence to do what you can to bring an end to this violence as no one wants a repeat of these disgraceful scenes."

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