Rioters torch Dutch virus testing centre

URK, NETHERLANDS (AP) — Rioting youth protesting on the first night of a Dutch curfew torched a coronavirus testing facility and threw fireworks at police in a Dutch fishing village.

Police said yesterday they fined more than 3,600 people nationwide for breaching the curfew that ran from 9pm on Saturday until 4.30am yesterday and arrested 25 people for breaching the curfew or for violence.

Video from the village of Urk, 80 kilometres northeast of Amsterdam, showed youth breaking into the coronavirus testing facility near the village’s harbour before it was set ablaze.

The police and municipality issued a statement yesterday expressing their anger at rioting, “from throwing fireworks and stones to destroying police cars and with the torching of the test location as a deep point”.

“This is not only unacceptable, but also a slap in the face, especially for the local health authority staff who do all they can at the test centre to help people from Urk,” the local authorities said.

Police in Amsterdam also were bracing for another protest yesterday, sending officers to a square where demonstrators clashed with police a week ago.

A police officer takes images of a torched coronavirus testing facility in the Dutch fishing village of Urk. PHOTO: AP