Riot police shut major road in Glasgow amid reports of clashes between republicans and loyalist marches

Police in Glasgow are facing a 'riot' as a Republican march in Govan was met by what is believed to be a Loyalist counter-protest.

The scene in Govan. Picture: @Enderbyc/Pa Wire

Police blocked Govan Road and eyewitnesses claimed that dozens of police vans and hundreds of officers were at the scene.

Riot police were also spotted, with the top officer of Police Scotland hitting out at those who caused 'fear and alarm to members of the public'.

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A march in favour of the unification of Ireland, organised by the James Connolly Republican Flute Band, was planned to start at 6.30pm in Elder Park, Govan.

Counter protests are reported to have been organised by loyalists groups.

Witnesses took to social media to report that 'barricades' had been erected in the Govan Road area, while others claimed that smoke bombs had been let off, which photographs shared on Twitter appeared to corroborate.

Video footage also captured the scale of the disturbance, which also caused the closure of Govan Subway Station.

Police Scotland 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.

The scene in Govan. Picture: @Enderbyc/Pa Wire

"A range of policing resources are in place as part of a multi-agency response. Specialist public order officers in full protective equipment, the mounted section, air support and dog units have been deployed and we are using proportionate tactics to de-escalate the situation as quickly and safely as possible.

"Police Scotland will undertake a thorough and robust enquiry and take any necessary action against those found to have been causing disruption."