Friday, January 1st, 2021
Violence against emergency services
Thousands celebrate illegal party in France
On New Year’s Eve, thousands of party guests break the Corona requirements in Brittany. When the police arrive, the situation escalates. Meanwhile, there are also corona violations and riots in other European countries. In addition, eight young people die at a celebration in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Around 2500 people celebrated at an illegal New Year’s Eve party in western France. When the party tried to break up in the town of Lieuron south of Rennes, violent riots broke out. The participants came from different regions of France and from abroad, announced the prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine département in Brittany. In France, there was also a curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. on New Year’s Eve to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further. However, when the police arrived at the party in an empty warehouse, they were faced with “violent hostility,” according to a statement from the officials.
Party guests threw stones and bottles at the police; some security guards were slightly injured. One police car was set on fire and three others damaged. On Friday morning, a lot of ravers danced to techno music in the hall, as a journalist from the AFP news agency observed. Security guards distributed disinfectant gel and masks. The public prosecutor’s office started an investigation.
Also in Marseille and Seine-et-Marne around 300 and 100 people celebrated the New Year. Security forces would have broken up the celebrations. The station Franceinfo also reported on a planned New Year’s party with 190 guests in Normandy. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had previously announced that 132,000 police officers would be deployed in the country over New Year’s Eve to monitor compliance with the curfew. The number of new infections with the coronavirus within 24 hours was around 20,000 in France on Thursday, according to the French authorities.
Attack on forces in Vienna
There were also illegal New Year’s Eve parties and riots in other European countries. In Vienna, police officers were attacked with fireworks during a large-scale operation. The police reported that they had moved out because of property damage in the Favoriten district of the Austrian capital. Several people there with fireworks damaged or destroyed garbage cans, newspaper racks, window panes and other things and then aimed at the police officers.
The perpetrators ran away, but the police found nine people between the ages of 14 and 29. They are accused of serious damage to property. A 21-year-old was also investigated for attempted break-in. He remained in custody for the time being.
Woman dies after party in Belgium
In Belgium, emergency services discovered the body of a 59-year-old woman after a New Year’s Eve party that was illegal due to corona regulations. This was reported by the Belga news agency, citing the West Flanders public prosecutor’s office. Several people had therefore met for a celebration in an apartment in the municipality of Lede between Brussels and Ghent.
The public prosecutor’s office has not yet said how many participants there were. But the party was a clear violation of the Corona rules. The dead person was found around 4 a.m., it said. The newspaper “Het Laatste Nieuws” wrote that the woman had died in an argument. However, the public prosecutor did not want to comment on the cause of death.
Eight dead youths in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Meanwhile, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a New Year’s Eve party in a weekend house struck a tragedy. Eight young people were killed. The four men and women aged around 20 succumbed to smoke poisoning, as reported by the Croatian news agency Hina, citing the police in the Bosnian canton of Western Herzegovina.
The eight young people reportedly withdrew to the weekend house in a local recreation area near Posusje to celebrate the turn of the year. The cause of the tragedy in the municipality in the southwestern part of the country is still being investigated. Carbon monoxide poisoning is not uncommon in the Balkans. This can happen when the highly toxic but difficult to perceive gas flows out of damaged stoves or chimneys.
Such private parties were organized this time in large numbers in the Bosnia region. People bypassed the lockdown that the authorities had imposed because of the corona pandemic. The measures include a ban on public events with more than 30 participants, the closure of all restaurants at 11 p.m. and a night curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.