Annual Protestant march in Belfast mostly peaceful - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Annual Protestant march in Belfast mostly peaceful

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(AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Orange Order members parade past the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Orange Order members parade past the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 12, 2014.
(AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Protestant bandsmen prepare to parade in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Protestant bandsmen prepare to parade in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 12, 2014.
(AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Protestant bandsmen parade in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Protestant bandsmen parade in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 12, 2014.
(AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Police escort the Ligoniel Orange Order members past the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison). Police escort the Ligoniel Orange Order members past the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 12, 2014.

LONDON (AP) - Police in Northern Ireland say an annual Protestant parade that typically sparks riots and disorder has taken place peacefully.

Assistant chief constable Will Kerr praised the "responsible behavior" of those involved in the annual July 12 march, saying he was pleased it was one of the most peaceful in recent years.

The parades by the Orange Order brotherhood commemorate the 17th-century victory of Protestant King William of Orange against the Catholic he dethroned, James II. The marches often raise tensions among the Irish Catholic minority.

Last year, several nights of riots left dozens of officers and others injured, and hundreds of people were charged or reported to prosecutors for protest-related disorder.

This year, marchers were barred from passing a sectarian flashpoint in north Belfast.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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