Several wounded after riots turned violent in Rotterdam

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Protests turned violent Friday in Rotterdam amid Covid 19 new measures and rioters clashed with police. Protesters threw rocks and fireworks at them and set police cars ablaze. Police have shot and wounded at least two people. The city was placed under a state of emergency and its main train station closed. All public transportations were shut down. “We fired warning shots and there were also direct shots fired because the situation was life-threatening,” police spokesperson Patricia Wessels told media. The Netherlands imposed a three-week partial Covid lockdown last week as cases surged. Daily infections are at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic. The government has said it wants to introduce a law that would allow businesses to restrict the country’s coronavirus pass system to only people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. It also plans a ban on fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Riot police used a water cannon to disperse crowd.

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Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, called the protests “an orgy of violence.” In a statement on Twitter Saturday, Rotterdam police said at least seven people including officers were injured. Videos posted online show cars, including police vehicles, charred and engulfed in flames.Water cannons were deployed „to restore public order.” Dozens of arrests have been made, police said. Police wants further investigation.