The constraints on COVID-19 have led to major riots in the Netherlands. EPA – Photo by Elta
The chaos began after protests against COVID-19’s restrictions and government plans to restrict access to unvaccinated people.
Dozens of people were arrested and seven were injured, including police officers, during riots in one of Rotterdam’s main commercial streets.
Last Saturday, the Netherlands became the first Western European country to return partial quarantine. Restrictions on restaurants, shops and sporting events have been in place for at least three weeks.
“The warning shots were fired several times. At one point, the situation became so dangerous that the officials feared they would have to shoot at the targets, “police said.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb described the riots as an “orgy of violence.”
“Eventually, police felt the need to withdraw their weapons to defend themselves,” he told reporters.
Police did not disclose how many people were injured in the warning shots, but the public broadcaster NOS said there were two injured.
Dutch media reported that several hundred protesters chanted various slogans demanding “freedom” and then threw stones at police officers and firefighters and set fire to several electric scooters.
Riot police with shields and sticks diverted groups of people from the scene, and cavalry police and officers in minibuses patrolled the streets.
Rotterdam police had to use force from other parts of the country to help.
The municipality of Rotterdam has issued a warning prohibiting people from choosing a riot site to restore public order and the main train station has been closed.
The riots sparked tensions ahead of the thousands of demonstrations planned for Saturday in Amsterdam and Breda.
The Netherlands, like the rest of Europe, is facing a growing number of COVID-19 cases. More than 21,000 people were reported on Friday. new cases.