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Netherlands: Riots break out in Rotterdam because of COVID-19 restrictions

THE HAGUE, Netherland – Police fired warning shots, injuring an unidentified number of people, as riots broke out Friday night in downtown Rotterdam during a protest against the government’s plans. to limit the access of unvaccinated people to certain locations.

Police said in a tweet that “there were gunshot wounds” during the unrest. Riot police used water cannons in an attempt to drive hundreds of rioters off a central street in the port city.

Photos on Dutch media showed at least one police car on fire and another with a broken windshield.

Police said in a tweet that rioters opened fire and threw fireworks during the riot and authorities closed the city’s main railway station.

Local media said football gangs were involved in the riot.

The government has said it wants to introduce a law that would allow businesses to restrict the country’s coronavirus transmission system to only people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 – this would exclude people have negative test results.

The country has seen a string of record infections in recent days and a new partial ban took effect a week ago.

In January, riots broke out in Rotterdam and other Dutch cities after the government announced a curfew in an attempt to curb a spike in coronavirus infections.

Earlier on Friday, the government banned fireworks on December 31 for the second year in a row. The government says the ban is intended to “prevent as much as possible from healthcare, law enforcement and first responders,” as much as possible.

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