Monday 23 October 2017

Police use water cannon as hundreds demonstrate in Brussels after attacks

Demonstrators protesting against the wave of terrorism confront police in front of the old stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Demonstrators protesting against the wave of terrorism confront police in front of the old stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Demonstrators protesting against the wave of terrorism confront police near the old stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Right-wing demonstrators protest against the wave of terrorism in front of the old stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Police used water cannon to control hundreds of protesters in central Brussels today after they ignored an official call for solidarity marches following Tuesday's bomb attacks to be postponed.

White-helmeted riot police moved behind the water cannon to push back the crowd which public broadcaster RTBF said numbered between 500 and 1,000.

Protesters shouted slogans condemning the airport and metro bomb attacks, which killed 31 people and injured scores of others, and expressing solidarity with the victims.

Organisers had called off Sunday's Belgian solidarity march after officials including the city's mayor urged people to stay away in order to spare the over-taxed police force amid fears of another attack.

Nevertheless, police in riot gear contained hundreds of people who gathered at the Bourse (stock exchange) which has become a focal point for expressions of sympathy.

Read More: European agencies hunting eight suspects linked to Brussels, Paris attacks

Demonstrators protesting against the wave of terrorism confront police near the old stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Demonstrators protesting against the wave of terrorism confront police near the old stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Public broadcaster RTBF said the crowd were shouting slogans including "everyone together against the Islamic State".

A video posted on social media outlets used by Islamic State on Saturday showed a Belgian militant in the group's de facto capital Raqqa, Syria, taunting his home country in Flemish.

"You learned nothing from the lessons of Paris, because you continued fighting Islam and the Muslims. For this I want to tell you that the attack in Brussels is reaping what you had sown with your own hands," Hicham Chaib, whose nom de guerre was given as Abu Hanifa al-Beljiki, said.

"Just as you bomb the Muslims with your F-16s, we will fight your people."

The authenticity of the video could not immediately be verified by Reuters.

Reuters

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