Belgium/Civil unrests: new riots in the west of Brussels
At least six police officers have been injured on Thursday night in the district of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean in the west of Brussels. Riots occurred in front of the police station after the family of a 14 years old young man arrested earlier came to protest against the arrest.
First incidents erupted when the police came at 7:00 p.m. (local time) to arrest the young man at his home for having insulted police officers earlier this week. The family of the suspect immediately protested, and about 20 people threw stones against the authorities. Few minutes later, the family arrived in front of the police station with 60 other people who started to throw stones against the building. Police received further support from colleagues and two water-pumps and a helicopter were deployed to restore order around the police station. The crowd then moved to other places, where several groups started to fight police patrols.
At the end of August, violent incidents were seen in the same part of Brussels where hundreds of young people attacked the police with Molotov cocktails and stones, burned cars and destroyed some shops.
As ESISC said earlier, those incidents clearly demonstrate the police forces are unable to maintain public order in some areas of the Belgian capital. These areas are indeed increasingly becoming grey zones where security forces are extremely reluctant to enter. Authorities and strongly deny that police is given advices to avoid a presence seen as a “provocation” by a part of the youth, but the fact is that most of the inhabitants of those areas feel their security is not taken in account.