Forest fire suspects arrested

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Two men suspected of causing a number of devastating fires along the Dutch coast have been arrested by police in Alkmaar. A local court has ordered them to be kept in detention for at least 90 days while the case is being investigated. The suspects are 18 and 20 years of age.

The suspicions centre on two fires which partially destroyed nature reserves in the sand dunes lining Holland's coastline. The flames raged for days and the smoke led to brief evacuations of nearby residential areas in the town of Bergen.

Earlier this month a 44-year-old from Alkmaar was arrested on suspicion of causing three other fires, including a major blaze in the Schoorl dunes area. He has denied any involvement, but will remain in detention for another 30 days.

In both instances the court has said that it ordered the detentions "given the danger and the public unrest caused by the fires".

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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