Police said 15 officers were injured on Friday night after being targeted by a crowd of mainly young people in Sandy Row, throwing stones, fireworks, flares, manhole covers and petrol bombs.
A 13-year-old boy is among eight people arrested in connection with riots on the streets of Belfast.
The PSNI’s Belfast District Commander, Chief Superintendent Simon Walls, said “a small local protest quickly developed into an attack on police officers” and that at points there were up to 300 people of all ages on the streets.
He called for calm, urging anyone with influence in the loyalist community to dissuade young people from causing violence and harm.
“What I would ask is that people with influence, people in local communities, would dissuade young people, or anyone else, intent on causing violence or intent on harming police officers,” he said.