AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch police detained more than 180 people in a third night of unrest in cities across the Netherlands, where roaming groups of rioters set fires, threw rocks and looted stores in violence triggered by a night curfew aimed at curbing the coronavirus.
The first curfew since World War Two followed a warning by the National Institute for Health (RIVM) over a new wave of infections due to the “British variant” of the virus, and was imposed on Saturday despite weeks of declines in new infections.
“We have had riots in the past, but it’s rare to have this for several nights across the entire country,” said National Police spokeswoman Suzanne van de Graaf. “It’s not only in known problem areas, but much more widespread.”
Riot police with shields and batons were called out in more than 10 cities, many of which had issued emergency ordnance to provide officers with greater powers to conduct searches.