Unrest over plan for centre for asylum-seekers in Dutch town

by Reuters
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 20:49 GMT

AMSTERDAM, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Riot police clashed on Wednesday with protesters who tried to storm a town council meeting in anger over plans to build a centre for asylum-seekers, Dutch media reported.

RTL Nieuws reported there was at least one arrest. Police could not immediately be reached to confirm that.

Images and videos of the incident on Twitter showed dozens of youths throwing beer bottles and fireworks at police and chanting slogans opposing the proposed centre.

According to national broadcaster NOS, around 1,000 joined the protest. Many were still awaiting the outcome of the council meeting.

Geldermalsen, a town of 27,000 near Utrecht, is deciding whether to build a centre to house 1,500 asylum-seekers.

The incident was the largest display of anti-migrant sentiment in the Netherlands since hooligans attacked a Syrian refugee centre in October.

European countries are struggling to cope with the largest movement of migrants since World War Two, many of them Syrians who have come via Turkey, Greece and the Balkans. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Andrew Roche)

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