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Violence in Dublin shames Ireland, says PM Varadkar

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A violent clash between rioters and police in central Dublin on Thursday injured several police officers, including one seriously, and led to the arrest of 34 people, according to the Garda Síochána, the Irish police.

Rioters burned police vehicles, destroyed public buses and looted or damaged more than a dozen shops, the Garda said. A crowd gathered in the city center following a knife attack which seriously injured a teacher and three young children.

The escalating unrest has dismayed authorities, who have accused a far-right faction of stoking tensions by spreading false information about the stabbing attack.

Unconfirmed speculation about the nationality of the knife-wielding attacker spread online in the hours following the stabbing attacks, with one protester telling Agence France-Presse that “the Irish are being attacked by these scum.”

“We have never seen a situation of public disorder like this before,” Drew Harris, the Garda police commissioner, told reporters on Friday, adding that there was “an element of radicalization” in the troubles. A group of people had taken “a thimbleful of facts” and added “a bath of assumptions – hateful assumptions,” he said.

Videos from the scene A heavy police presence and city workers scraped burned debris from roads and towed damaged cars Friday morning.

Irish authorities on Friday condemned the rioters and called the unrest “shameful”. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the Garda would fight “waves of ignorance and criminality”.

“Those involved have brought shame to Dublin, to Ireland and to their families and themselves,” Mr Varadkar said. “That’s not who we are. That’s not who we want to be, and that’s not who we ever will be. »

Thursday’s clash took place after a woman in her 30s and three young children were injured in a knife attack shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Within hours, a “mad mob” had gathered at the crime scene and attempted to break into the cordoned off area, Commissioner Harris said. The unrest intensified after 5 p.m., he said, and police deployed more resources.

A man in his fifties, also injured in the attack, was taken into custody, police said Thursday, adding that the motive for the incident was unclear and that they were keeping “with an open mind” at this stage of the investigation.

Commissioner Harris said the force would review its tactics when it comes to policing public disorder. But he refuted claims that police had failed to contain the unrest, adding that they could not have anticipated its intensity.



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nytimes

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