Reuters on the third night of riots caused by COVID-19 rules in the Netherlands

© Reuters. Protesters gathered in Cafe del Mondo during a demonstration against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on November 20, 2021. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

Anthony Deutch

Amsterdam (Reuters)-On Sunday, riots broke out in cities across the Netherlands. This was the third night in a row when police clashed with angry young people. They set fires and threw stones to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

According to reports, riots occurred in Leeuwarden and Groningen in the north, and the eastern towns of Enschede and Tilburg in the south. According to videos on social media, in Enschede, where the emergency decree was issued, police used batons to try to disperse the crowd. In Leeuwarden, the police car was hit by a stone, and the man in black shouted and lit a flare.

The police said that the worst riots since the total lockdown resulted in widespread chaos and the arrest of more than 500 people in January. The police said that five police officers were injured on Saturday and overnight and that at least 64 people were detained in three provinces. Dozens of people threw fireworks and fences during the football match. Feyenoord Rotterdam stadium game.

The most recent riots began in Rotterdam on Friday night. Police opened fire on a crowd that swelled to hundreds of people during the protests. The mayor of the city described the protests as a “violent carnival.”

A statement from the authorities said that the four people believed to have been hit by police bullets were still receiving treatment in the hospital on Sunday.

The protest was due to opposition to the government’s plan to restrict the use of the National Corona Pass to people who have recovered from COVID-19 or have been vaccinated, excluding those who tested negative.

The Netherlands re-imposed some lockdown measures on its 17.5 million population last weekend for the first three weeks to slow the resurgence of the virus, but the number of daily infections remained at the highest level since the pandemic began.

In order to avoid more pressure on hospitals that are forced to reduce the scale of care due to the surge of COVID-19 patients, the fireworks ban on New Year’s Eve also angered some young people.

The police statement said that the worst conflict occurred on Saturday night in The Hague, where five policemen were injured, one of whom was seriously injured. The police charged on horseback and arrested 19 people. One of them was arrested for throwing stones at the window of a passing ambulance.

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