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As COVID protests rocked Rotterdam, Dutch police fired to warn of the coronavirus pandemic news

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After the protest against the partial blockade turned into violence, dozens of people were arrested and seven were injured.

After the Dutch police protests against the partial blockade of COVID-19 in Rotterdam turned into violent incidents, some demonstrators burned police cars and threw stones, causing several injuries.

Chaos broke out after the port city protested the recent coronavirus restrictions and government plans to restrict access to certain places for unvaccinated people.

In a night rampage on a main shopping street in Rotterdam, dozens of people were arrested and a total of seven people, including the police, were injured.

A week ago, the Netherlands re-entered the first partial blockade in Western Europe during the winter. These restrictions affecting restaurants, shops and sports are expected to last at least three weeks.

The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Abtaleb, described the scene as a “violent carnival.”

He told reporters: “The police feel it is necessary to finally pull out police weapons to protect themselves.”

The police said in a statement that the demonstrations that started on Coolsingel Street “caused riots. Fires broke out in multiple locations. Fireworks were lit and the police fired several warning shots.”

They added: “Someone was injured in connection with the shooting.” They did not give a number, but the Dutch public broadcaster NOS said two people were injured.

According to Dutch media, hundreds of protesters chanted “freedom” and other slogans, then threw stones at police and firefighters and set fire to several electric scooters. The police used water cannons to try to disperse the crowd.

On Friday night, the situation basically calmed down, but a large number of police were still present.

Demonstrators participate in protests against part of the coronavirus lockdown and government plans to contain those who choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine [Killian Lindenburg/AFP]

Pictures from the Dutch media showed that at least one police car caught fire and another bicycle was hit by the windshield.

The local political party Leefbaar Rotterdam condemned the violence on Twitter.

“The center of our beautiful city has become a war zone tonight,” it said. “Rotterdam is a city where you can disagree with what happened, but violence is never the solution.”

The Dutch police stated that troops from all over the country were sent to the city to “restoring order”.

The Rotterdam authorities issued an emergency order prohibiting people from gathering in the area to “maintain public order” and its main railway station has also been closed.

On Saturday, demonstrations are planned in Amsterdam and the southern city of Breda. Local media said that thousands of people are expected to attend.

The Netherlands is struggling to contain the new wave of coronavirus, with more than 21,000 new cases reported on Friday

The government is now considering excluding those who have not been vaccinated from bars and restaurants, and allowing only those who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease to enter.

Neighboring Germany has already taken similar measures. Austria has entered a state of complete lockdown and plans to make vaccination mandatory.



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