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Northern Ireland sees three nights of violence as tensions mount

April 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 51.1%. 1 min read.

A man walks past a burning car that was hijacked by Loyalists at the Cloughfern roundabout in Newtownabbey. Masked men threw petrol bombs and hijacked cars in the Loyalist area North of Belfast. Picture date: Saturday April 3, 2021. PA Photo. Loyalists and unionists are angry about post-Brexit trading arrangements which they claim have created barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Tensions ramped up further this week following a controversial decision not to prosecute 24 Sinn Fein politicians for attending a large scale republican funeral during Covid-19 restrictions. See PA story ULSTER Disorder. Photo credit should read: Peter Morrison/PA Wire

Violent clashes in Northern Ireland erupted over the weekend amid increasing tensions in a region historically plagued with sectarian violence.

(CNN)Violent clashes in Northern Ireland erupted over the weekend amid increasing tensions in a region historically plagued with sectarian violence.

The clashes involved children as young as 12, according to a statement from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

It also comes amid rising anger over a specific part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, called the Northern Ireland Protocol, which aims to eliminate the need for border controls between Northern Ireland -- which is part of the UK -- and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member.

Instead, it creates a de facto border down the Irish Sea as goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain are subject to EU checks -- a move which has angered pro-British Unionists.

Democratic Unionist Party MP Sammy Wilson told CNN's Nic Robertson on a recent trip to Northern Ireland: "We're simply saying to tear up the agreement which breaks up the United Kingdom, tear up the agreement which breaks up all the promises you made to the people of Northern Ireland that you would have unfettered access to your biggest market in GB [Great Britain]. "

Speaking about Friday's incident, Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said in a statement: "This evening we have unfortunately seen running skirmishes between young people and the PSNI in the Sandy Row area following a protest that was organised by loyalists against the protocol. "

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