Amsterdam (dpa) – The Netherlands again experienced fierce riots on Monday evening as a result of protests against the Corona curfew.
Hundreds of violent youths rioted in several cities until late Monday night, according to police reports, and attacked the police. Because of the corona pandemic, people had gathered in city centers shortly before curfew. They marched through the streets in large groups, looting and furious. Riots were reported in about ten cities, including Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. According to the police, more than 151 people have been arrested.
“Shameless thieves”, mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam complained about the mafia. Shops in his city were destroyed and looted, among other things. “We have not yet been able to take stock, but it is still a sad outcome,” said the newspaper “De Telegraaf”. According to a report from a reporter of the NOS, the events in Den Bosch “got out of hand”. After a fireworks display, a very large group of rioters left for the city. “Looting took place, fires started, cars were destroyed, shops were looted all along the route.”
In Rotterdam, according to reports from the NOS police officers, about 100 rioters were attacked with stones and fireworks. The police mobile unit used water cannons and tear gas. According to the police, about 50 people have been arrested in the port city.
Rioters roamed various cities in the Netherlands, smashed windows and looted shops. Bus stops were demolished, fires started and police officers were attacked with fireworks and stones. According to media reports, journalists and camera teams were also victims of violence. Police meanwhile, via Twitter, have asked citizens to send in any video recordings of the events to facilitate the investigation.
According to media reports, rioters also tried to break into hospitals in Brabant and Bosch. The police have cordoned off the entrances. Ambulances had to move to other clinics.
By midnight, the police had the situation largely under control, said police chief Willem Woelen on TV channel NOS. “We can see that it is quiet again in most of the Netherlands.”
Reasons for the unrest are the tightened corona measures by the government and a curfew that has been in force since Saturday. But the police and mayors of the affected cities believe that different groups are involved in the riots – including corona holigans and neo-Nazis.
On Sunday evening, serious unrest in a dozen cities staggered the country. The police had spoken of the worst riot in 40 years. Police and mayor had previously warned of further riots after several phone calls surfaced on social media. The first riots had already taken place on Saturday.
On Saturday evening, a national curfew went into effect in the Netherlands for the first time since the start of the corona pandemic. Citizens must stay at home from 9:00 PM to 4:30 AM. Violations are punishable with fines of 95 euros.