New Antwerp shooting marks sixth violent incident in six days
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    New Antwerp shooting marks sixth violent incident in six days

    Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Another shooting in Antwerp marks the sixth violent incident in nearly one week, three of which took place in the Deurne neighbourhood.

    The target of the shooting was Italian restaurant The Pasta House, located in the Turnhoutsebaan in Antwerp’s eastern district of Deurne. Residents reported shots fired around 04:15 AM, early Friday morning.

    Police have shut down the crossing of the Turnhoutsebaan and the Frank Craeybeckxlaan, near The Pasta House.

    Police had been organising extra patrols in the neighbourhood, but that did not seem to have stopped the shooters, a spokesperson for the Antwerp police, Sven Lommaert, told Het Nieuwsblad.

    According to neighbours, The Pasta House rarely opened. The restaurant’s website seems to not be fully finished and lacks a menu. The owner is a resident of Borgerhout, an Antwerp neighbourhood that saw one shooting and two explosions over the past week.

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    On Tuesday, a machine gun shooting was recorded in De Grypeerstraat in Deurne around 03:00 AM. The house targeted is owned by family members of Othman El B., a known and convicted cocaine lord.

    On Monday, around 3:00 AM, a grenade exploded on the doorstep of a former pharmacy in De Grypeerstraat. The building was adjacent to the El B. family home.

    Over the weekend, one explosion was recorded in Deurne, with one explosion and one shooting taking place in Borgerhout.

    No one has been hurt or injured as a result of the incidents.

    Last week, police intercepted a shipment of 500 kilos of cocaine in the Antwerp harbour, which led to the arrest of four harbour employees. Following a separate investigation, two additional harbour employees were arrested in relation to the import of 700 to 800 kilos of cocaine.

    The police will continue to investigate whether the series of incidents, including Friday morning’s shooting, is connected to a conflict between drug gangs active in Antwerp.

    Amée Zoutberg
    The Brussels Times