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Protest turns violent in Brussels

Police have used watercannon to disperse a demonstration that got out of hand in Brussels.  Protesters were seeking clarification of the circumstances in which a 23-year-old man died following his arrest by police in the capital last weekend.

The demo started peacefully enough outside the police station in the Brabantstraat not far from the North Station.  It later turned violent when protesters hurled projectiles at the police.

In all 116 people were detained. 5 officers were injured and a police station was damaged after it was set alight.

A couple of hundred protesters took part.  Many carried placards with slogans including ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Justice for Ibrahima’, a reference to the dead man’s name. The protest that was supposed to remain at one spot had been authorised.

The peaceful demo ended around 4:30PM.  Then the violence started. Fireworks were set off and protesters moved throughout the area around the North Station. Police used watercannon to disperse the crowd and put out fires.

It is at present unclear whether there is any link between the man’s death and his arrest.

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