Two armed robbers entered scout camp and threatened several troop leaders
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Two armed robbers entered scout camp and threatened several troop leaders

Credit: Belga

Two armed robbers entered a scout camp for children aged 9 to 11 in Temse, East Flanders on Wednesday morning and threatened several scout leaders.

One troop leader of the Jacob Van Artevelde Scout group from Zwevegem, West Flanders, who was awake, was threatened first and handed over a mobile phone, credit cards and wallet.

“The armed people then went to the leaders’ dormitory and threatened the leaders as well,” Jan Van Reusel, spokesperson of Scouts & Gidsen Vlaanderen, told VRT Nieuws. 

The two perpetrators used a 9-millimetre gun to threaten the people, and disappeared after collecting the personal belongings, according to reports from Het Nieuwsblad. 

Although several people were in shock, no one was injured. An ambulance came to the scene as a precautionary measure, but no one was taken to the hospital.

The children themselves weren’t aware of the incident, but the camp has since been stopped and their parents have been called to pick up the children.

“It is the first time that a camp has been raided like this, and the leadership is not prepared for it, nor should they be,” Van Reusel said.

The news has since been confirmed by the mayor of Zwevegem, Marc Doutreluingne, whilst the public prosecutor’s office arrived on the scene, and a perimeter has been cordoned off around the area where the group was camping.

“It is incomprehensible how this can be done in a youth movement. Hopefully, the perpetrators will soon be caught. Fortunately, the children didn’t notice. My condolences to the group,” Flemish Youth Minister Benjamin Dalle said on Twitter.