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Shooting in Antwerp follows weekend of explosions
A home in Antwerp’s Deurne district was showered with bullets in the middle of the night in the latest in a series of incidents that occurred throughout the weekend. Police are investigating as to whether the five incidents involving gunfire and grenades are related.
In the late hours of Friday night, a door was shot at in Beukenstraat in Borgerhout. The following night, an explosion destroyed a front door three kilometres away in Deurne’s Kerkhofweg. It was assumed to be a grenade – which have been thrown in residential streets in Deurne before – but bomb squad Dovo could find no evidence of the explosion being caused by a grenade.
A few hours later, while police were still on the scene in Deurne, a grenade was thrown under a parked car back in Borgerhout, this time in Godtsstraat, which crosses the short Beukenstraat. And then in the late hours of Sunday night, a grenade caused damage to the façade of an empty shop space back in Deurne. This time on Gryspeerstraat, a few kilometres away from the previous incident in the district.
The empty shop, a former pharmacy, was located next to the home of a family known to be involved in drug trafficking. It was that home that was shot at last night with some kind of assault weapon.
None of the incidents resulted in injury, but area residents are scared and angry. “I don’t know exactly what happened,” said the new owner of the former pharmacy, who is turning the building into a home for himself and his family. “Fortunately we weren’t here, and I’m wondering if we should even come and live here. My children would be living here, and that’s a worrisome thought.”
Another resident of Gryspeerstraat told VRT that it “felt like a bomb landed on my house, like it was collapsing”. An examining magistrate has been appointed to investigate the case, and police are searching video footage from all four streets involved.
Photo ©Jonas Roosens/BELGA