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Police make series of arrests after riots in Anderlecht
Police arrested around 100 people over the weekend following protests in Anderlecht provoked by the death of a 19-year-old man, report local media.
Brussels-Midi police chief Patrick Evenpoel said 65 people were arrested on Saturday evening and early Sunday morning as police regained control of the area around Place du Conseil. A further 30 people were arrested on Sunday as police cracked down on any rallies, however small. The majority of the arrests were without charge.
One person was injured and a police officer suffered a malaise during the skirmishes between police and youths with some cars being set alight. During the police operation a service gun was stolen from a police car. Videos of the protests show an individual firing a gun into the air.
Anderlecht mayor Fabrice Cumps said the family of the victim were not involved in the protests and had appealed for calm.
A police investigation has been opened into the death of the young man, Adil, in Anderlecht on Friday evening. He and another scooter rider were being pursued by police after fleeing from a lockdown control. Another police patrol, called in for reinforcement, arrived by car in the opposite direction. One of the riders overtook a van, according to the prosecution, and hit the police vehicle head-on, dying instantly.
A lawyer for Adil’s family has asked the Brussels’ public prosecutor’s office to appoint an investigating judge to examine the circumstances of the accident.
Photo: Ambulance and police water canon trucks at the site of riots in Anderlecht, Brussels, Saturday 11 April 2020 © Olivier Gouallec/Belga
This article was updated on Monday evening, following further developments