Dutch police arrest 100 youths after new year riot

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Dutch police said Tuesday they had arrested 100 youths who pelted firefighters with bottles and fireworks in a central town notorious for its unruly New Year celebrations.

The violence broke out after a group of revellers in Veen doused a car wreck in fuel and set fire to it in the street -- a New Year's tradition in the town.

"We have arrested around 100 young people, men and women, mainly between the ages of 18 and 25 after they pelted firefighters trying to put out a burning car wreck," police spokesman Jeroen Steenmeyer told AFP.

"When the fire department came to put out the fire they were pelted with bottles and heavy fireworks and that's when the police took action," Steenmeyer said.

The revellers ran into a cafe, where they were arrested before being taken to the local police station, a police statement added. They will spend New Year behind bars.

New Year celebrations in the Netherlands are often riotous, with thousands of fireworks set off in streets around the country.

The tiny town of Veen, population 2,500, is particularly notorious -- last year the government deployed an unmanned drone to monitor the celebrations, news agency ANP reported.

In 2003, Veen's youths set 17 cars on fire, resulting in hundreds-of-thousands of euros in damage.

A year later, when the town's mayor tried to halt the festivities, his own car went up in flames.

Rumours of people in the town having bought a military tank for the festivities that year however proved unfounded.

© 2013 AFP

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