Violent Dutch ‘party’ costs million euros
AMSTERDAM - Agence France-Presse
Riot police break up crowds of youths who turned violent in Haren. EPA photoRioting in a sleepy Dutch town after a Facebook party invitation went viral led to 34 arrests, dozens of injured and a bill for damages, which insurers said could top “at least” a million euros.
After a night of violence when police officers were pelted with stones, bottles, tubs of flowers and even bicycles, local officials lined up to denounce those responsible and promise they would be brought to justice. The estimate of “at least” a million euros by the Dutch Association of Insurers was part of the fall-out from Sept. 21 night’s clashes in the northern town of Haren. “An innocent call on Facebook to party led to riots, destruction, looting, fires and injuries in the centre of the town,” Haren mayor Rob Bats said.
Twenty-nine people, including three officers, were injured during the clashes. Police had been on high alert after the birthday girl posted a message inviting friends to her 16th birthday party on Sept. 21, but forgot to mark it as a private event. That prompted more than 20,000 replies. Local officials said between 3,000 and 5,000 people had turned up in the small town, which is home to only 18,000 residents.