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Press photographer shot in Belfast riots

A Press Association photographer has been shot during a second night of rioting in Belfast.

Niall Carson received a bullet wound to the leg in what is believed to be East Belfast’s worst riots for several years. His injuries were the result of three shots that were fired, the Belfast Telegraph reported this morning.

The photographer was taken to hospital and is thought to be in a stable condition. Media have now been advised to stay away from the area for their own safety.

The BBC reported that another photographer had been standing nearby when the shooting happened on Lower Newtownwards Road.

“I looked back and there was somebody peering over the wall and he shot about five or six rounds,” he said.

“The next thing I know a colleague of mine, he yells, ‘I’ve been shot, I’ve been shot’, and I looked back and his leg on the bottom part, I don’t know if he was grazed, or if the bullet went in or what, but I looked at his trousers and his trousers were all stained. It was wet, it was obviously blood.”

National Union of Journalists Irish secretary Séamus Dooley said the shooting represents an attack on the media in Northern Ireland and was ‘an extremely worrying development’. 

He said: “Niall Carson was injured while doing his job. It is vital that journalists should be allowed to carry out their duties without fear of attack from any quarter.

” This incident is part of a sinister assault on the people of Northern Ireland. The riots of the past two days represent a wider attack on the community, who have a right to live in peace. Our thoughts are with all those who have suffered as a result of the riots over the past 48 hours”.

The riots saw loyalists throw petrol bombs towards the mainly Catholic Short Strand area of the city.

On Monday night two people were shot in the legs during an intense bout of rioting. Police have said the episode was initiated by the Ulster Volunteer Force.