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Disturbances in Brussels after Belgium’s Euro 2020 defeat

Police used teargas and watercannon to disperse youths that were involved in disturbances in the centre of Brussels on Friday evening. The trouble followed the Euro 2020 quarter final match between Belgium and Italy. Belgium lost the game 2-1 with Italy making it through to the semi-finals. 

Olivier Slosse of the Brussels-Capital-Elsene Local Police Service told journalists that the police intervened after youths started throwing things and setting off smoke bombs and fireworks in the pedestrianised area in Brussels City Centre. Two people were detained for looting a shop on Brussels’ main shopping street, the Nieuwstraat.

Mr Slosse added that initially the police had intervened “to disperse a group that had attacked someone carrying an Italian flag”.

The group then turned on the police and pelted officers and shop windows with anything they could lay their hands on. At around 11:10pm a number of people broke into a sports shop on the Nieuwstraat and starting looting the store. The police were able to apprehend two of the looters at the scene.

By around half past twelve peace had returned to the city centre, but police remained in place to ensure that there was no further flare up of the violence.

Police also intervened to disperse people that had gathered on the Rogierplein at the northern end of the Nieuwstraat.

Elsewhere, police in the Limburg municipality of Beringen intervened to break up a fight between Italian fans. Like other former mining communities in Limburg Province Beringen has a sizable number of residents of Italian descent.  

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