Protests against COVID curbs turn violent in Netherlands

Demonstrators protesting against government restrictions in Rotterdam on Friday night.   | Photo Credit: AP

The police opened fire on protesters in rioting that erupted in downtown Rotterdam around a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions late on Friday night. The Dutch city’s Mayor called it “an orgy of violence”.

The police said that two rioters were hospitalised after being hit by bullets and investigations were under way to establish if they were shot by police. The condition of the injured rioters was not disclosed.

Officers arrested 51 people, about half of them minors, the police said on Saturday afternoon. One police officer was hospitalised with a leg injury sustained in the rioting, another was treated by ambulance staff and “countless” others suffered minor injuries.

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told reporters in the early hours of Saturday morning that “on a number of occasions the police felt it necessary to draw their weapons to defend themselves” as rioters ran rampage through the port city’s central shopping district, setting fires and throwing rocks and fireworks at officers. “They shot at protesters, people were injured,” Mr. Aboutaleb said.

The country has seen record numbers of infections in recent days and a new partial lockdown came into force a week ago.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 5:39:02 AM |

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