Sunday, April 11, 2021

Explosion hits covid testing center in the Netherlands, police classify as attack

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The police were alerted to a “loud pop” just before 7 am local time, no one was hurt; the police classified the explosion as an intentional attack

One explosive was detonated in a center for detection exams of the coronavirus north of Amsterdam before sunrise on Wednesday, smashing windows but causing no injuries, in what the police called an intentional attack.

A bomb squad went to the scene in the city of Bovenkarspel, located 55 kilometers north of the capital, and police said a metal cylinder involved in the explosion was recovered.

The artifact “must have been placed there,” police spokesman Menno Hartenberg told Reuters. “Something like that doesn’t just happen by accident,” he said.

The head of the public health service called for “the quick arrest of the perpetrator”.

“Our people across the country are working hard to protect society from this pandemic,” said André Rouvoet. “This cowardly act of destruction does not only affect our employees in Bovenkarspel. It affects all of us.”

A watchman at the examination center alerted police to a “loud burst” that broke several windows just before 7 am local time, a police statement said.

The incident comes just before the March 17 national elections, seen by many as a referendum on the government’s handling of the pandemic.

The revolt against the health authorities has increased since the beginning of 2021, and the head of the National Institute of Health is currently accompanied by a security team.

Another examination site was set on fire in January during several days of riots caused by the adoption of an evening curfew. Security has been strengthened in some locations due to threats and vandalism.

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