mardi 22 septembre 2009

Brussels - Riots in Molenbeek

Thursday morning, a teenager was arrested at his home by cops, accused of having 'insulted' them several times. During the arrest, police used pepper spray and beatings, also against family members. Bystanders noticed the arrest and threw stones at the cops.

A bit later, a group of around 50 people laid siege to the police headquarters and attacked several cop cars and the station itself. Windows were broken and two cops got hurt.

Police therefore called reinforcements. About 150 anti riot cops came to Molenbeek, with a water canon and a helicopter. Riots started at around 22h and lasted till 2 'o clock in the night. Nine cops got wounded, one heavely when a big gas bottle was thrown on him from a second floor. A total of ten cop cars was smashed. Few people got arrested.

The day after, the neighbourhood was fully militarised and cops were omnipresent in anti-riot equipment. In the late evening, people started to smash shops and a bank and a police patrol was attacked with stones. Police also discovered a stock of molotov cocktails hidden under a car.

Tension is still very high in the neigbourhood.


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