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Ruff time More PSNI officers and police dog injured during last night's rioting in west Belfast

Police dog Daphne only finished her training in December

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Daphne's foot was injured during the violence

Daphne's foot was injured during the violence

Daphne's foot was injured during the violence

A further 19 police officers and a police dog have been injured following the latest night of rioting in Belfast.

The most recent injuries bring the total number of officers injured in the recent violence to 74.

After large groups of youths gathered in the Springfield Road and Lanark Way areas, police came under attack with petrol bombs, bottles, masonry and fireworks being thrown.

Shortly after 9pm, a car which had been hijacked in the area was pushed towards police lines as officers were attacked.

Police then deployed a water cannon in order to disperse crowds.

During the disorder, two men aged 24 and 32 were arrested for riotous behaviour and remain in police custody.

The injured police dog, PD Daphne, has been with the PSNI since September of last year and completed her training a few months later in December. She suffered a foot injury.

Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Roberts said: “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.”

He added: “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.”

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