Hospitals asked to name patients as police investigate grenade thrower in Antwerp
Friday, 08 November 2019
Antwerp hospitals were called on to help police identify an unidentified cyclist caught targetting a van with a grenade attack on CCTV. Credit: Federal Police
Antwerp authorities have requested that emergency hospital wards make known the identities of persons admitted with hand injuries as they attempt to track down a cyclist after he threw a grenade at a parked car.
Investigators believe that the man, so-far unidentified but caught red-handed on CCTV, may have injured his hands when he threw the grenade at the vehicle, Het Nieuwsblad reports.
The incident took place on the night of 1 to 2 September in the Antwerp district of Borgerhout, in a renewed incident of targetted grenade attacks in the Flemish city.
“The perpetrator was [seen] on a bicycle stopping in the middle of the street,” police wrote in an online description of the facts. “He takes out a grenade and throws it between the parked cars and immediately afterwards he takes flight.”
An investigating magistrate has therefore asked hospitals in the area to deliver a list of any patients aged between 14 to 30, admitted with hand injuries over the period from 2 to 13 September, according to De Morgen.
The magistrate’s move comes as police in Antwerp continues to investigate the grenade incidents as part of a suspected escalating fight between local drug gangs, which has been nevertheless slow-moving, yielding a single conviction and one detention so far.
Grenade explosions have rocked different areas of Antwerp so far this year, including one which shut down the domains of a castle, with others targetting residential streets and local businesses.