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Tension in Brussels: Police Use Water Guns on Anti-Immigrant Protesters, Make Arrests


Police in Brussels on Sunday used water guns against protesters who chanted anti-immigrant slogans at the memorial for the victims of Brussels attacks.

Around 200 far-right protesters with some wearing masks invaded Place de la Bourse, the place where people put flowers and candles in the honour of those killed in the Brussels attacks, which claimed 31 lives and injured more than 300 hundred.

The peaceful gathering at the memorial in Place de la Bourse was larger than last week’s gathering. People had come to the memorial to support March Against Fear, which was cancelled  following the authorities’ concern over diversion of police from ongoing investigations.

The protesters chanted slogans like “ Together against Islamic State (ISIL).”, reports Euronews. They left no chance to express anti-immigration sentiments and made Nazi salutes.

“It is highly inappropriate that protesters have disrupted the peaceful reflection at the Bourse (stock exchange). I strongly condemn these disturbances,” said Prime Minister Charles Michel.

New York Times reports that more than 300 hooligans supporting various football clubs visited Brussels from Vilvoorde.  A banner read “Casuals against terrorism,” reflected the football hooliganism.

“We had 340 hooligans from different football clubs who came to Brussels and we knew for sure that they would create some trouble. It was a very difficult police operation because lots of families with kids were here,”said Police Commissioner Christian De Coninck.

Police carried out 13 raids in Brussels and the northern towns of Mechelen and Duffel. They were linked to “federal case regarding terrorism,” reports The Guardian.

Belgian prosecutors on Saturday charged three men including Fayçal Cheffou, one of the suspected in Brussels attacks. Cheffou, known as “the man in hat”, has not been confirmed as the third bomber in attacks. Authorities are carrying out investigations to scoop out possible terror links.

On Saturday, Djamal Eddine Ouali, an Algerian national was arrested for his involvement in processing fake documents of the members involved in the Brussels attacks as well as the November Paris Attacks.

On Sunday, Dutch police detained a 32-year-old French national on the suspicion of planning terror attacks. He was arrested following a request made by French officials after an investigation. However, his role in November Paris attacks was not confirmed.

European countries are gearing up security efforts following the row of attacks appeared last week.

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