Tuesday, 08 September 2020
A Brussels neighbourhood is in unrest for the second time in days after a vehicle was pushed into a daycare centre and was later set on fire, police said.
A small van was set on fire on Monday at around 9:30 PM in the Marolles district of the City of Brussels, Olivier Slosse, spokesperson for the Brussels-Ixelles police zone, told Le Soir.
According to Slosse, the van was first pushed against the front window of a local daycare centre, whose façade had been vandalised at the weekend already.
It remains unclear at this point why the perpetrators targeted the daycare centre for a second time.
Residents in the Marolles district, in the southernmost part of the City of Brussels, said that disturbances were caused by tensions between the police and youth in the area.
One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told Bruzz that young people were rebelling following an incident with police at the weekend during which she alleged police used excessive force against a man.
“The police wanted to carry out an identity check on a few young people and an elderly man intervened to ask what the reason for the check was,” she said. “He then was knocked to the ground by police.”
On Monday evening, at least one helicopter flew above the Marolles and police officers were present as firefighters extinguished the car set ablaze.
No injuries were reported but one resident who identified himself as the owner of the van said he did not understand why the young people, if they had a problem with the police, were targeting neighbours instead.
“Until the perpetrator is caught, the insurance will consider the fire an act of vandalism and I will not be compensated for that,” he said.
The incident on Monday comes after another car was set on fire at the weekend and a fire engine was pelted with rocks, prompting condemnation from local officials.
The Brussels Times