Protesters Clash With Police In Belgium

Protesters Clash With Police in Belgium

The Associated Press
Oct 24, 2007

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) Youths protesting attacks by Kurdish rebels in Turkey clashed with baton-wielding police Wednesday in Brussels, leaving 10 policemen injured. Police said more than 100 demonstrators were detained.

The fighting broke out in several neighborhoods after police tried to contain the demonstration, authorities said. Police used water cannons to disperse the youths, many of whom were of Turkish descent. Some protesters then rampaged through the city, smashing windows and setting garbage alight.

“More than 100 people were detained and some of them were arrested for serious infractions,” police spokesman David Yansenne told RTBF network.

It was unclear how many protesters were hurt in the clashes.

Turkish leaders and military generals have been discussing a possible military operation into northern Iraq following cross-border attacks by Kurdish rebels on Turkish troops. Twelve soldiers were killed and eight disappeared during a raid on Sunday.

The Kurdish rebel attacks have angered Turkish immigrant groups in many countries, including in Belgium. Ethnic Turks and Kurds have clashed in the capital's immigrant neighborhoods in the past.

“This has been fomenting for a few days and the situation in Turkey is linked to that,” said Beatrice Meulemans, an alderwoman in the heavily immigrant municipality of St. Josse. “It was to be expected that there would be riots.”