07:55 GMT01 March 2021
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    Bonfires are traditionally set alight on August 15 in some nationalist areas of Derry to mark the Catholic feast day of the Assumption, but nationalist and republican politicians alike have criticized the practice, saying it causes disruption to local residents.

    Republicans in Northern Ireland set alight a huge bonfire in Londonderry that included numerous Union Jacks, Israeli flags, poppy wreaths and the names of murdered police officers, The Mirror reported.

    Hundreds of people gathered in Derry's Bogside, a strongly nationalist area to watch the massive pyre burn to the ground.

    The names of three police officers, killed by Republicans for their work for Northern Ireland’s security services, were emblazoned on the top of the bonfire.

    Politicians in Northern Ireland condemned the bonfire that was erected on Tuesday night in direct proximity to a residential neighborhood.

    Alliance Party leader Naomi Long slammed the Bogside pyre as "utterly disgusting and shameful."

    ​"There is no place for this kind of sectarianism, intimidation and disrespect for flags and symbols," she said.

    "A small number of people on both sides of our community seem determined to drag us back. They must not prevail," she added

    SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the bonfire does not represent the people of Derry.

    In July, vehicles were hijacked and torched in Northern Ireland amid violence linked to traditional loyalist bonfires.

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