Riot police were deployed on the streets of Glasgow after violence flared following an Irish unity march.

Mounted officers, a police helicopter and dog units were tasked to the city’s Govan area after protesters against the march sparked a riot, and witnesses said smoke bombs were used.

Police said the planned march through the city’s Govan area, organised by the James Connolly Republican Flute Band, was met by hundreds of “disruptive” loyalist counter demonstrators at about 7pm on Friday.

The force said this led to “significant disorder” around Govan Road, which was blocked by officers.

Chief Superintendent Mark Hargreaves said: “Police Scotland has a duty to facilitate processions and any peaceful protest, but this kind of behaviour by persons demonstrating against the parade is utterly unacceptable.

“It is extremely disappointing to see people acting in this fashion, causing fear and alarm to members of the public as well as putting many people at risk.”

He added: “Police Scotland will undertake a thorough and robust enquiry, and take any necessary action against those found to have been causing disruption.”

Glasgow City Council advised of the road block in a traffic bulletin, and Govan Subway Station also closed due to the incident but has since reopened.

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