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Police operation in Brussels: many injured after mass meetings

Status: 04/02/2021 02:40 a.m.

There were clashes with the police at an illegal mass meeting in a Brussels park with thousands of participants. Dozens of officers were injured in the riots.

Numerous police officers were injured in breaking up an illegal mass meeting in Brussels, in which more than a thousand people took part despite Corona restrictions. As the Belga news agency reported in the evening, citing a police spokesman, at least 26 officers were injured during the operation in a park not far from the city center.

Water cannons, mounted policemen and police dogs were used. Pictures from the scene showed police officers covered in blood, at least one burning barricade and obviously drunk teenagers and young adults.

1500 to 2000 people in the park

According to Belga, a free music event had been called on the Internet before the mass crowd. According to estimates by the security forces, around 1500 to 2000 people gathered in the Bois de la Cambre, where they violated distance and hygiene rules.

Police officers collide with visitors to the park in Bois de La Cambre, Brussels.

Image: dpa

On a video that was published by the public broadcaster RTBF, a request from the police to break up the meeting could be heard – the riots apparently only broke out after the loudspeaker announcement. The security forces were pelted with bottles out of the sometimes aggressive crowd and cornered by outnumbered rioters. At least one officer was hit in the head and taken to the hospital, Belga reported, citing the police.

Infection numbers in Belgium are increasing dramatically

In the past few days, many people in Brussels had already enjoyed the warm spring weather in the city’s parks. However, scenes like the one in the Bois de la Cambre had not yet come about.

The number of corona infections in Belgium had risen dramatically in the past few weeks. According to official figures, the 14-day incidence is now just under 550 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. As early as autumn, the country with 11.5 million inhabitants had at times one of the highest corona infection rates in Europe. However, strict restrictions temporarily slowed the spread of the virus.

After April Fool’s joke: street battle between the revelers and the police

Michael Schneider, ARD Brussels, April 1, 2021, 9:44 p.m.

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