Arsonists strike again, but calm slowly returning
10 November 200510am, BRUSSELS — Some 15 vehicles were damaged by fire overnight in five Belgian cities, but the national crisis centre ruled out speculation of heightened tension or unrest.
10 November 2005
BRUSSELS — Some 15 vehicles were damaged by fire overnight in five Belgian cities, but the national crisis centre ruled out speculation of heightened tension or unrest.
It said cars were torched in Antwerp, Brussels, Lokeren, Mechelen and Ledeberg, but that the arson attacks were isolated incidents, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported on Wednesday.
The arson attacks represented, however, the fourth consecutive night of unrest in Belgium and several suspects were arrested in various cities.
One suspect was arrested after a car was torched in the Willem Elsschotstraat in Antwerp.
Ten cars were damaged in Brussels city districts. Two cars were damaged near the junction of the Werfstraat and Magazijnstraat.
A car was destroyed by fire in the Emanuel Hielstraat in Schaarbeek, while a light truck was torched in the Belgradostraat in Sint-Gillis. The truck's brakes gave way and it rolled into a nearby wall.
Two cars fires were reported in the Koolstraat and the Scheldestraat, while vandals set cars ablaze in the Louis Bertrandlaan and Generaal Eisenhouwerstraat.
Three vehicles were torched in the Poststraat in Lokeren, while a car was set on fire in the Graaf Van Egmontstraat in Mechelen. A semi-trailer was torched in the Jan Sapynstraat in Ledeberg (Ghent).
Besides the arson attacks against cars and trucks, police also reported fires in rubbish bins and containers in Maasmechelen and Brugge. These were isolated incidents responded to by local fire authorities and police.
In general, the crisis centre said relative calm was witnessed in Belgian cities in comparison to the tension witnessed for much of this week.
After five cars were torched in the area around Brussels South train station on Sunday night, authorities feared the French rioting would jump the border as arson attacks started to spread across Belgium.
"We hoped that [the initial incidents Sunday night] were isolated cases, but apparently it's continuing," police spokesman Albert Roossens said earlier this week.
However, the federal government's crisis centre said there were no large gatherings of youths on Wednesday night. Police and government authorities will continue monitoring the situation.
Several suspects were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the arson attacks reported in recent nights.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news