Explosive incidents and arrests in Brussels following Morocco’s world cup defeat
Fireworks were set off in the centre of Brussels following the elimination of Morocco in the World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday evening. Public disorder incidents resulted in 209 administrative arrests and four criminal arrests, reports Belga.
After the final whistle of Morrocco’s semi-final defeat to France, scooters were set alight and fireworks and firecrackers used as projectiles against police services in the Lemonnier district, near Boulevard du Midi. There were also disturbances in other areas of the capital.
"These arrests were made for public disorder, damage to two police vehicles and possession of 'cobra' fireworks, while private possession and use of these are prohibited in Belgium," Brussels police said in a statement.
Immediately after the match, Boulevard du Midi and Boulevard Poincaré were closed to traffic as a preventive measure, along with the Porte de Hal tunnel towards Midi station. "No crowds were gathering but disturbances of public order were observed" in several sectors, underlined police. "We have again seen a significant use of pyrotechnics."
Local people from the Moroccan community, known as ‘big brothers’, again played a key role during the incidents. They created a human chain between troublemakers and police, as well as cleaning up the arson damage.
Photo: Belga/James Aurthur Gekiere