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Firefighter attacked during Laken intervention

In Laken (Brussels) a firefighter was attacked by a young man, spokesman Walter Derieuw confirms. The firefighter has been declared unfit to work for one week. 

The Brussels fire services were called to the Modelwijk in Laken on two occasions yesterday evening, twice for burning garbage heaps. Fire services say there were many groups of youngsters outside, probably because of the good weather and because of the fireworks at the Heizel site. 

One of the firefighters was finishing the job and cleaning up, when he was addressed by a youngster. "They spoke briefly, after which the young man left the scene. But he returned soon, to tap the man on the shoulder. When the firefighter turned around, he was slapped in the face. He then pushed the aggressor to defend himself, after which both fell down and rolled off some stairs", Derieuw explains. 

Both were taken to hospital. The fire services decided to launch an official complaint "to know every detail of this incident and to avoid impunity." The firefighter may lose a tooth and has been declared unfit for work until the end of the month at least. Police escorted firefighters in the Laken area at following interventions for the rest of the night. 

The judicial authorities have opened an investigation. This afternoon, it was announced that the police will escort fire fighters again tonight if they should have to go to the Modelwijk.