A senior Ulster Unionist has questioned the commitment of Republicans to the peace process, urging them to end protests against Orange marches.

The UUP Assembly member and Culture Minister, Michael McGimpsey, described violent Nationalist demonstrations against marches in Belfast last night as orchestrated sectarian actions.

But the Sinn Féin Assembly member, Gerry Kelly, responded by describing the Orange marches on the Springfield Road and Ardoyne areas as anti-Catholic demonstrations that go through Catholic areas.

Yesterday's 12 July Orange parades took place relatively peacefully in spite of clashes in which about 20 police officers were injured.

The worst trouble was on the Springfield Road in the west of the city. Up to 100 petrol bombs, together with fireworks and bricks, were thrown by Nationalist protestors in the area.

Running battles broke out between police and protestors, and 26 plastic bullets were fired.