World In Liège, a demonstration against racism escalates violently

In Liège, a demonstration against racism escalates violently

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648x415 un magasin saccage dans le centre ville de liege le 13 mars 2021

A store ransacked in the city center of Liège, on March 13, 2021. – / SIPA

The city of Liège in Belgium had a particularly violent day on Saturday. Nine people, including five police officers, were injured there after clashes between the police and “200 to 300 thugs” in the city center, on the sidelines of a “Black lives matter” demonstration, local police said. Calm returned in the early evening.

The demonstration was organized following the controversial arrest Monday in Liège of a woman of Congolese origin. The latter, arrested for “rebellion”, accuses the police of violence and racism, which the police refute.

“Looting, theft and damage”

According to a police spokesperson, at the end of the demonstration which brought together “a few dozen people”, “individuals knocked down and violently attacked a motorcycle policeman”. “Between 200 and 300 thugs suddenly gathered in the streets of Liège”, committing “looting, theft and damage”, she continued. More than 250 police officers, equipped with three water cannons, eventually dispersed them. “Nine wounded were taken to hospital including five police officers”, according to the same source.

The police had specified in the afternoon that the central police station and vehicles of the police had been thrown of stones, and that these groups of individuals, very mobile, had in particular ransacked a McDonald’s. The police had asked the population not to come to the city center and the bourgmestre (mayor) had sent a message to traders “to close the stores in the hyper center”, according to the spokesperson.

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