Police believe explosion ‘deliberately targeted’ Dutch coronavirus test centre
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Police believe explosion ‘deliberately targeted’ Dutch coronavirus test centre

Credit: Belga

The Dutch police believe the explosive which was detonated near a Covid-19 screening centre in North Holland on Wednesday morning was deliberately targeting the ‘test street’.

According to reports in Dutch media, a metal pipe exploded on the outside of the building some 50 km from Amsterdam in what the Dutch police are investigating as a ‘targeted attack’.

“Near the screening centre of the local public health service in Bovenkarspel, an explosive went off at 06:55. Windows were destroyed, however, no one was injured. The perimeter has been cordoned off,” the police said in a statement.

At the moment of the explosion, the test centre had not yet opened its doors to the public.

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All Covid-19 test appointments booked for Wednesday were cancelled by the municipal health services, according to RTL Nieuws, and it is not yet clear when the centre can reopen as the police are investigating the scene.

The police said it may take several hours to secure the area, clear it and investigate it, as the explosives disposal service is currently investigating whether any other explosive material was left behind, NOS reported.

Several test centre locations have been targets of violence in the Netherlands, including a ‘test lane’ in Urk which was set on fire, and a test site in Amsterdam, where windows were smashed.

Since the Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled in favour of the Dutch government, deciding that the curfew put in place to fight the coronavirus in the Netherland should remain in force, the Netherlands has experienced the largest riots in several decades.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times