43 arrested after mob violence in Brussels

20th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Forty-three people were arrested overnight in a heavily immigrant neighourhood of Brussels where there have been clashes between police and mobs of youths, police said Saturday.

Brussels - Forty-three people were arrested overnight in a heavily immigrant neighourhood of Brussels where there have been clashes between police and mobs of youths, police said Saturday.

It was the second night of incidents in the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean area, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Brussels populated by immigrants mainly from Morocco.

Aong those arrested, three were detained specifically for fighting with police, throwing stones at police cars and carrying an illegal weapon, said Johan Berckmans, a police spokesman for the Molenbeek area.

He added that overnight "there was no direct confrontation between police and youths" and that no officers had been injured.

The night before, nine police officers were wounded and 10 police cars damaged when scores of youths hurled firebombs and other missiles at police, Belgian prosecutors said Friday.

The incidents broke out when police tried to check the identity of one youth, and around 60 people, including members of his family members, lobbed objects at the officers.

A subsequent wave of attacks at another site saw one officer hit in the back with a firebomb.

Prosecutors said three youths, including one minor, face prosecution.

There has been a surge of incidents involving gangs, in one case armed with a stolen Kalashnikov rifle.

The head of the Molenbeek area, Philippe Moureaux, announced Friday the cancellation of all festivities planned over the weekend to prevent any confrontations, especially on Sunday, the last day of the month-long Muslim fasting period of Ramadan.

AFP/Expatica

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