Rioting youths in Dutch village torch COVID-19 testing centre

Rioting youths protesting on the first night of a curfew in the Netherlands torched a coronavirus testing facility and threw fireworks at police in a Dutch fishing village.

Police said Sunday they fined more than 3,600 people nationwide for breaching the curfew, which ran from 9 p.m. Saturday until 4:30 a.m. Sunday, and arrested 25 people for breaching the curfew or for violence.

Video from the village of Urk, 80 kilometres northeast of Amsterdam, showed youths breaking into the coronavirus testing facility near the village’s harbour before it was set ablaze.

The police and municipality issued a statement on Sunday expressing their anger at the rioting, “from throwing fireworks and stones to destroying police cars and with the torching of the test location as a deep point.”

“This is not only unacceptable, but also a slap in the face, especially for the local health authority staff who do all they can at the test centre to help people from Urk,” the local authorities said.

Police in Amsterdam also were bracing for another protest on Sunday, sending officers to a square where demonstrators clashed with police a week ago.

On Sunday, police in Amsterdam’s Museum Square used water cannon to disperse protesters demonstrating against the latest COVID-19 measures.

Police use water cannon during a protest against restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Amsterdam on Sunday. (Eva Plevier/Reuters)

Riot police on horseback also attempted to clear the demonstrators.

Last Sunday, protesters clashed with riot police on horseback in the square, leading to the detention of 143 people.

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