Villagers torch virus testing centre in Netherlands

Riot police use water cannon, tear gas to break up demos in Eindhoven, Amsterdam - DutchNews.nl

It was the second Sunday in a row that police had clashed with protesters in Amsterdam angry at the country's lockdown.

In Eindhoven, police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a crowd of several hundred people on the 18 Septemberplein.

Amsterdam police arrested 190 people amid rioting at a banned demonstration Sunday while Eindhoven police detained at least 55. The station shops were also plundered.

And in Stein - near Maastricht close to Belgium - clashes with police occurred as they broke up an illegal party reportedly attended by 100 people. Video showed police spraying people grouped against a wall of the Van Gogh Museum.

The trouble will be discussed by regional safety board chiefs at their regular meeting on Monday, chairman Hubert Bruls told broadcaster NOS.

Earlier, the Dutch government extended the nearly full lockdown introduced on December 15 until February 9. They had gathered in defiance of a new 21:00 (20:00 GMT) curfew.

Dutch media reported unrest in other Dutch towns Sunday night caused by people protesting against the curfew.


Video from the village of Urk, 80 kilometres northeast of Amsterdam, showed youths breaking into the coronavirus testing facility near the village's harbour before it was set ablaze on Saturday night. A group of youths in the fishing village of Urk threw fireworks and rocks at police and burned down a temporary COVID-19 testing centre.

Hoping to slow the spread of COVID-19 variants in the Netherlands, the government imposed new lockdown measures throughout the country.

Police reported that as of Saturday, officers wrote more than 3,600 tickets for violations of the new curfew.

The rioting coincided with the first weekend of the new national coronavirus 9 p.m.to 4:30 a.m. curfew, but mayors stressed that the violence was not the work of citizens concerned about their civil liberties.

Police and city officials released a statement on Sunday expressing their anger over the riots, "from the launching of fireworks and stones to the destruction of police cars and the burning of the test site as a deep point".

The testing facility in the village of Urk in the Netherlands went up in flames on Saturday night with its burnt-out shell remaining cordoned off on Sunday.

"This is not only unacceptable, but also a slap in the face, especially for the staff of the local health authority who are doing all they can at the test center to help the people of Urk", local authorities said., adding that the curfew would be strictly enforced for the rest of the week.

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