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Dutch Riot Over COVID Restrictions a Second Night time; 7 Arrested

Dutch Riot Over COVID Restrictions a Second Night time; 7 Arrested

Police arrested seven rioters in The Hague on Saturday night time after youths set fires within the streets and threw fireworks at officers. The unrest got here a day after police opened hearth on protesters in Rotterdam amid what the port metropolis’s mayor known as “an orgy of violence” that broke out at a protest in opposition to coronavirus restrictions.

Elsewhere within the Netherlands, two soccer matches within the prime skilled league needed to be briefly halted after followers — banned from matches beneath a partial lockdown in pressure within the Netherlands for every week — broke into stadiums within the cities of Alkmaar and Almelo.

Police stated by way of Twitter that seven folks had been arrested in The Hague and 5 officers had been injured. One wanted therapy in a hospital.

Native media outlet Regio 15 reported that rioters threw bicycles, wood pallets and motorized scooters on one of many fires.

The rioting in The Hague was on a smaller scale than the pitched battles on the streets of Rotterdam on Friday night time, when police stated three rioters had been hit by bullets and investigations had been underway to ascertain in the event that they had been shot by police. Earlier police stated two folks had been hit. The situation of the injured rioters was not disclosed.

Officers in Rotterdam arrested 51 folks, about half of them minors, police stated Saturday afternoon. One police officer was hospitalized with a leg damage suffered within the rioting, one other was handled by ambulance workers and numerous others suffered minor accidents.

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb instructed reporters within the early hours of Saturday that “on numerous events the police felt it obligatory to attract their weapons to defend themselves” as rioters rampaged by the port metropolis’s central buying district, setting fires and throwing rocks and fireworks at officers.

“They shot at protesters, folks had been injured,” Aboutaleb stated. He didn’t have particulars on the accidents. Police additionally fired warning pictures.

Police combing by video footage from safety cameras anticipate to make extra arrests.

Pictures from the scene confirmed no less than one police automotive in flames and one other with a bicycle slammed by its windshield.

Riot police and a water cannon restored calm after midnight.

It was one of many worst outbreaks of violence within the Netherlands since coronavirus restrictions had been first imposed final 12 months. In January, rioters additionally attacked police and set fires on the streets of Rotterdam after a curfew got here into pressure.

Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus condemned the occasions.

“The riots and excessive violence in opposition to law enforcement officials, riot police and firefighters final night time in Rotterdam are disgusting to see,” he stated in a press release.

“Protesting is a good proper in our society, however what we noticed final night time is solely felony conduct. It has nothing to do with demonstrating,” he added.

Police items from across the nation raced to Rotterdam to assist deliver Friday night time’s scenario beneath management. Aboutaleb stated that gangs of soccer hooligans had been concerned within the rioting.

An unbiased investigation into the shootings by police was opened, as is the case each time Dutch police use their weapons.

The federal government has stated it needs to introduce a regulation that might permit companies to limit the nation’s coronavirus go system to solely people who find themselves absolutely vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 — that might exclude individuals who check unfavorable.

Earlier Saturday, two protests in opposition to COVID-19 measures went off peacefully in Amsterdam and the southern metropolis of Breda.

Hundreds gathered on Amsterdam’s central Dam Sq., regardless of organizers calling off the protest. They walked peacefully by the streets, intently monitored by police. A number of hundred folks additionally marched by the southern Dutch metropolis of Breda. One organizer, Joost Eras, instructed broadcaster NOS he did not anticipate violence after consulting with police.

“We actually do not help what occurred in Rotterdam. We had been shocked by it,” he stated.

The nation has seen file numbers of infections in latest days and a brand new partial lockdown got here into pressure every week in the past.

Native political get together Leefbaar Rotterdam condemned the violence in a tweet.

“The middle of our stunning metropolis has this night reworked right into a struggle zone,” it stated. “Rotterdam is a metropolis the place you may disagree with issues that occur however violence is rarely, by no means, the answer.”

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