Seven people have been hurt after Dutch police fired on anti-lockdown rioters on Friday night, amid rising anger at the re-introduction of European Covid-19 measures
Police confirmed the injuries in Rotterdam on Friday and said they had fired both ‘warning shots’ and directly at protesters – but did not say if live ammunition or rubber bullets were fired.
Local media reported that at least 20 people were arrested.
Police also fired water cannons to disperse demonstrators who lit fires and set off fireworks in one of Rotterdam’s main shopping streets, one week after the new Covid-19 measures came into force.
The violent scenes came amid a rising anger at coronavirus measures across Europe, with Austria making vaccines mandatory and introducing a full lockdown from Monday, and German ministers not ruling out following its neighbour’s lockdown lead.
Restrictions have also been placed on the unvaccinated in Germany – where they have been banned from Restaurants – as well as in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Police said in a tweet that it was ‘still unclear how and by whom’ the person was apparently shot.
Local media reported seven people were injured and at least 20 were arrested, with one eyewitness – a press photographer – telling De Telegraaf they saw shell casings ‘everywhere on the floor’.
Police spokesperson Patricia Wessels confirmed that police fired shots, though it was not immediately clear what type of rounds were fired.
‘We fired warning shots and there were also direct shots fired because the situation was life-threatening,’ she said.