Amsterdam, 26 January 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Hundreds of youths rioted and attacked police in Dutch cities late into Monday evening in anger at the country’s tough coronavirus measures, police said.
People gathered in city centres in the Netherlands shortly before the nightly curfew intended to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus kicked in, as they had done on Saturday and Sunday.
In large groups, they moved through the streets looting and rioting in about 10 cities – including Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.
More than 151 people were arrested, according to police.
Rioters smashed windows and looted stores. They demolished bus stops, lit fires and attacked police officers with fireworks and stones.
Journalists and camera crews were also victims of the violence, according to media reports.
By midnight, police had the situation largely under control, police chief Willem Woelders told TV station NOS.
However, unrest still continued in Rotterdam and ‘s-Hertogenbosch about 100 kilometres south of Amsterdam, according to the police chief. Train services to the city were shut down because of the unrest.
Rotterdam’s Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb called the mob “shameless thieves.”
Shops were looted and destroyed in the city, but the city has not yet been able to take stock of the damage, he told De Telegraaf newspaper.
Around 100 rioters attacked police in Rotterdam with stones and fireworks, broadcaster NOS reported.
In Brabant and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, rioters tried to get into hospitals, local media reported. Police have largely cordoned off the entrances and ambulances had to be diverted to other clinics.
On Twitter, police called on the public to send in any relevant video footage to help their investigations.
The affected cities’ police and mayors believe various groups are participating in the riots – including coronavirus deniers and football hooligans.
On Sunday night, severe riots in about 10 cities shook the country. The police called them the worst riots in 40 years.
Police and mayors had previously warned of further riots after seeing several calls on social media to take to the streets.