British authorities say a small bomb has exploded in Belfast, Northern Ireland, sending a 14-year-old boy to the hospital and leaving several people with minor injuries. The blast comes as sectarian tensions run high in the troubled province.

Police say the bomb went off late Monday as hundreds of unionists and republicans hurled bottles and insults at each other near Newington Street, the scene of frequent sectarian clashes in North Belfast.

Police say one of the participants tossed a small, homemade bomb.

Political tensions are increasing in Northern Ireland, where the peace process has stumbled over the issue of disarmament of the Irish Republican Army.

British police say three IRA members have been arrested in Bogota, Colombia, raising speculation that they may have been trying to purchase arms and explosives there.

The IRA said last week it is ready to lay down its weapons, but it left unionists angry because it gave no timetable for disarmament.