100 detained in anti-Kurdish protest
25 October 2007, BRUSSELS (AFP) - Ten police officers were injured and 100 demonstrators detained when an anti-Kurdish protest of up to 800 people in the Belgian capital turned violent Wednesday, police said.
25 October 2007
BRUSSELS (AFP) - Ten police officers were injured and 100 demonstrators detained when an anti-Kurdish protest of up to 800 people in the Belgian capital turned violent Wednesday, police said.
Three people were charged with attempted murder after ramming a police car with their vehicle, wounding three officers inside, police chief David Jansen said.
The three were taken to a hospital but their condition is not critical, he added.
"There was a lot of rough physical contact, garbage bins were set on fire and cars damaged," he told a press briefing.
The situation was calm late Wednesday after the incidents in the capital's Schaerbeek and Saint-Josse districts, an area also known as Little Turkey.
Demonstrators, some masked, pelted police officers with stones, Belga news agency said. Others waved Turkish flags and shouted anti-Kurdish slogans.
The unauthorised protests came after Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel targets along the Iraqi border on Wednesday as the National Security Council in Ankara urged economic sanctions against Iraqi Kurds accused of backing the insurgents.
Hundreds of youths began rallying in the high-immigration Brussels districts in small groups after 5:00 pm after receiving text messages.
"The terrorist PKK party carried out attacks against the Turkish community. This group is being financed by European countries; this has to stop," a demonstrator told Belgian television.
Saint-Josse's deputy mayor Mohammed Jabour told AFP that "people are very worried about what is happening (in northern Iraq), but this has nothing to do with the situation here."
"This is a very serious development for (the immigrants') integration" into Belgian society.
Late Monday dozens of Turkish nationalists ransacked a cafe owned by an Iraqi of Kurdish origin.
[Copyright AFP 2007]
Subject: Belgian news