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Molenbeek forbids assembly following firefighter incident

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In part of Brussels, assembly of more than three people between 22:00 PM and 06:00 AM will be prohibited starting Thursday following an incident on Wednesday night.

Police will be organising extra patrols in the Sippelberg neighbourhood in the western part of Brussels, by order of the mayor of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Catherine Moureaux. The ban will last for two months.

With the measure, Moureaux is responding to an incident that took place in the night of Wednesday to Thursday.

Around 01:15 AM that night, a Brussels fire brigade responded to a call about a burning garbage can in the Avenue Mahatma Ghandi. Once the fire fighters arrived and started putting out the fire, they were pelted with glass bottles thrown off the roof of a nearby building. No one was injured, and a complaint on the incident was filed by the fire department.

“The question can be asked whether the emergency services were not deliberately lured to the scene in order to be attacked,” a spokesperson for the fire brigade said.

Moureaux stresses that the issues in the neighbourhood are being caused by a small group. The Sippelberg district has been struggling with disturbances caused by loitering youth and drug dealing, prior to Wednesday’s incident.

The municipality will look into additional measures to solve the current issues. Moureaux added that residents of the neighbourhood and the young people’s parents will be involved in the process.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

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