Expatica news

Cars ablaze in third night of arson attacks

8 November 2005 – 11pm

BRUSSELS — The Belgian government’s crisis centre confirmed on Tuesday night vandals had set cars ablaze in the cities of Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels.

It is the third night in succession that cars have been torched, but a spokesman for the national crisis centre said each case was an “isolated” incident.

“There were no injuries and there was no certainly no gathering [of youths]. The culprits cannot yet be found,” spokesman Fernand Koekelberg said.

The ongoing unrest in Belgium has fuelled concerns of a spillover of the violence witnessed in France in the past two weeks, news agency AFP reported.

“We hoped that [the initial incidents on Sunday night] were isolated cases, but apparently it’s continuing,” police spokesman Albert Roossens said earlier on Tuesday.

And as night closed in on Tuesday, the national crisis centre said an arson attack took place in the Van Kerckhovenstraat in Antwerp at 7.30pm.

The street is located in a problem district on the edge of the city.
Public prosecution official Dominique Reyniers said witnesses saw three youths running away from the scene and police were still trying to track them down, newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported.

A delivery van was then set on fire on the Mariemontkaai in the Brussels municipality of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek. The fire spread to and damaged another vehicle also.

In another incident, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a car in the Brussels city centre, but the vehicle did not catch on fire.

A similar incident took place in the Edmond Machtenslaan in Molenbeek. In that case, the vehicle was damaged by the ensuing blaze.
Near the metro station Clemenceau in Anderlecht, a delivery van was reported to be on fire, but it was not immediately known if arson was to blame.

There were also two reports of burnt cars in the Ghent district of Sint-Amandsberg. A car was deliberately torched in the Kriekerijstraat, while a jeep was set ablaze in the nearby Hogeweg.

The jeep was parked near a shed and it was initially feared the fire would spread to the premises, but the fire brigade was able to bring the flames under control.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news