Police in Edinburgh were attacked with “fireworks, petrol bombs and other projectiles” by a group of youths with riot squads in place to deal with the anti-social behavior on Sunday.

The incident reportedly occurred in Hay Avenue in Niddrie where around 100 people clashed with the riot police during Edinburgh Bonfire Nigh.

Police Scotland said that Specialist Public Order resources were deployed to the area as part of Operation Moonbeam. This move is aimed at supporting local police in the area.

A statement issued by Edinburgh Police stated: “We are currently dealing with an incident of significant disorder in the Hay Avenue area of Edinburgh, which began around 4.40pm this afternoon.

“Reports were received of a large number of youths involved in the anti-social use of fireworks and local officers requested support from the #OpMoonbea specially-trained Public Order rescue. 

“Police in attendance are currently being subjected to attacks involving fireworks, petrol bombs and other projectiles and the public is asked to avoid the area while the response is ongoing. 

“There are a number of local road closures in place and we will advise when these will re-open. The public is thanked for their assistance with this matter.”

Several videos circulating online shows dozens of police in riot gear with shields raised marching through the streets around Hay Avenue.

Officers clad in riot gear were forced to form a line of defence as several rockets struck their shields. A number of rockets were also seen hitting nearby houses and cars.

City of Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day said: “I am appalled to see the scenes in Niddrie this evening. We’ve been clear that this sort of conduct is unacceptable.

“We have been working hard throughout the year in our communities to mitigate Bonfire Night-related disruption so it is extremely disappointing to see a minority of people behaving in this way.

“This reckless behaviour endangers lives and, like the majority of people in the community, I share in their dismay and upset at this disgraceful behaviour.

“We are working closely to ensure the community are safe and appeal to anyone who can help identify those responsible to contact police so they can be dealt with appropriately by the justice system. Our emergency services have our full support and do a fantastic job of keeping us all safe.”

In 2022, a police vehicle was hit by a Molotov cocktail in Niddrie, and motorbike gangs raced through the area while fireworks were lobbed at the ground.

Operation Moonbeam was set up by Police Scotland in 2018 to tackle Bonfire Night disorder. Under this special operation, several specially-trained officers are deployed within the North, West and East of Scotland to support local officers during this busy period.

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Russell Findlay added: “Such attacks on police officers are cowardly, reckless and dangerous. Police Scotland need sufficient resources to tackle these thugs.”

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