Riots in Antwerp after killing of Moroccan
Riots broke out in the streets of the Belgian port city of Antwerp Tuesday night after a 26-year-old man of Moroccan origin was shot and killed by a 66-year-old Belgian man.
The gunman who fired several shots and killed Mohamed Achrak's taken into police custody and had no previous criminal record, local radio RVI reported today.
The murder caused great unrest in Antwerp's Borgerhout district, which has a large immigrant population.
A number of angry youths gathered in the streets. The victim's father attempted to calm the crowd but was unsuccessful.
The groups descended upon the Turnbousebaan street last night and were confronted by police officers. The crowd threw stones at the officers and several shop and car windows were broken. One officer was injured in the leg and treated in hospital, said the radio. Members of the Muslim community belonging to a mosque in the area made several attempts to stop the conflict, encouraging people to come inside to pray rather than protest in the streets.
However, Abou Jahjah, a prominent figure in the Antwerp-based Arab European League (AEL), which recently began organising its own patrols in the city to and ensure that immigrants are not unfairly targeted for crimes, was also on the scene.
According to the police, he did little to discourage the revolt. During a press conference, Antwerp's mayor Leona Detisge stated that in the coming days the administration will investigate what measures may be taken against the AEL.