Two injured as Dutch police fire shots in protest of new COVID-19 restrictions

Lots of rioters in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam have burned cars and thrown stones at police, who responded with shots and water cannon as protests against COVID-19 measures became violent.

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

“We know at least two people were injured, 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 pictures of someone they said had been shot by police, but police said that while viewing the footage, they did not yet know how the man was injured.

Hundreds of people had turned up to oppose the government’s plans to restrict access to indoor venues to people with a “corona passport”, indicating that they have been vaccinated or have already recovered from an infection. .

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

The passport is also available to persons who have not been vaccinated but have evidence of a negative test.

Police issued an emergency declaration in Rotterdam closing off public transport and ordering people to go home.

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

Authorities also urged spectators and people taking pictures of the riots to send the footage to police for further investigation.

The Netherlands reintroduced some lockdown measures last weekend in the first three weeks in an attempt to curb a resurgence of coronavirus infection, but daily infections have remained at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

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

Reuters

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