Church of Ireland bishops call for immediate halt to violence

A car burns after it was hijacked by Loyalists at the Cloughfern roundabout in Newtownabbey Belfast Northern Ireland Saturday

LONDON (AP) - Police in Northern Ireland have appealed for calm after officers were attacked and cars were set on fire during a second night of unrest.

Saturday's unrest follows intensive rioting in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast and in the Waterside area of Derry over the last few days, resulting in 27 PSNI officers sustaining injuries and eight people being arrested.

"To those in our community with influence, I would urge you to use that influence so we do not see any further disgraceful scenes of violence on our streets so we can ensure young people do not get caught up in criminality and that they are kept safe and away from harm".

The incidents come amid simmering tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol, set up as part of the UK's Brexit deal with the European Union, which has resulting in the establishment of a border in the Irish Sea.

Petrol bombs and bricks were thrown at officers in loyalist areas in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus near Belfast on Sunday night.

Alliance Party MLA John Blair condemned the violence and called for calm.

Tensions have flared as some members of Northern Ireland's legislature sought to censure two dozen politicians from the Irish republican Sinn Fein party who attended the June funeral of Bobby Storey, a former head of intelligence for the Irish Republican Army.

The scenes came just a day after 12 officers were injured in Derry on Friday night by a large group throwing masonry, bottles, petrol bombs and fireworks.

The main unionist parties have demanded the resignation of Northern Ireland's police chief over the controversy, claiming he has lost the confidence of their community.

The faction is believed to have been behind some of the weekend disturbances.

Belfast District Commander, Chief Superintendent Simon Walls, said "a small local protest quickly developed into an attack on police officers" and that at points there were up to 300 people of all ages on the streets.

'The DUP and political unionist leaders need to show leadership and end the incendiary rhetoric'.

"By their words and actions they have sent a very risky message to young people in loyalist areas", Gerry Kelly, a lawmaker from the pro-Irish Sinn Fein party, which shares power in the devolved government with the DUP, said in a statement.

'By their words and actions they have sent a very risky message to young people in loyalist areas.

Meanwhile seven people have been charged with riot after the disturbances in the Sandy Row area.

All four are due to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on April 30.

They are due to appear at Belfast Youth Court on April 30.

An eighth person arrested in connection with the unrest on Friday night, a man aged 19, has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.