(HOLLAND) LATEST: The mayor of Rotterdam is condemning “an orgy of violence” at protests against #COVID19 measures in the Dutch port city where a number of people have been injured and more than 20-arrested #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.21: Crowds of rioters torched cars and threw rocks at police who responded with shots and water canon, as protests against #COVID19 measures turned violent on Friday.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Many injured as protests against #COVID19 mandatory vaccination as demonstrators continue into another day as Dutch police were forced to draw their weapons and even fire direct shots,” Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told a press conference early on Saturday.

Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 22 seconds
Rioters clash with Rotterdam police as COVID protest turns violent

The Netherlands re-imposed some lockdown measures last weekend for an initial three weeks in an effort to slow a resurgence of coronavirus contagion, but daily infections have remained at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

Asked to characterise the event, Mr Aboutaleb said it was “an orgy of violence, I can’t think of another way to describe it”.

Authorities said they arrested more than 20 people and expected to detain others because the city centre where the riots took place was extensively monitored by security cameras.

“We fired warning shots and there were also direct shots fired because the situation was life-threatening,” police spokesperson Patricia Wessels said.

“We know that at least two people were wounded, probably as a result of the warning shots, but we need to investigate the exact causes further,” she said.

Some people on social media circulated images of someone they said had been shot by police, but the police said that while they had seen the footage they did not yet know how the man was wounded.

Several hundred people had gathered to voice opposition to government plans to restrict access to indoor venues to people who have a “corona pass”, showing they have been vaccinated or have already recovered from an infection.

Two police vehicles park near on a kerb in Rotterdam
Damaged police vehicles are seen on a street in Rotterdam.(Reuters)

The pass is also available to people who have not been vaccinated, but have proof of a negative test.

Police issued an emergency ordinance in Rotterdam, shutting down public transportation and ordering people to go home.

Water canons were deployed and police on horseback carried out charges to disperse the crowds, police said.

The authorities also called on bystanders and people who recorded images of the riots to send the footage to police for further investigation.

Video posted on social media showed burnt-out police cars and rioters throwing fireworks and rocks at police.

As cases are surging across Europe with the 4th wave

Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 44 seconds
COVID cases surging across several European countries

Reuters

#AceHealthDesk report ………….Published: Nov.21: 2021:

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