No explosives in Lelystad suspicious package; King's commissioner 'shocked'

A member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (Picture: Twitter/@Corvettemichel)A member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (Picture: Twitter/@Corvettemichel)

A suspicious package found at the provincial house in Lelystad on Monday morning contained no explosives, the police announced after investigation by explosive experts. The police lifted the lockdown of the area around the provincial house. Banners with slogans about nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen were also found hung on the building. Commissioner of the King Leen Verbeek is shocked by the incident, he said to the Telegraaf. 

Over the past few weeks there were several protests against a plan to shoot thousands of red deer in the nature reserve. This culling will start at the end of this month, when the heat period is over. According to the province, the number of large grazers in the Oostvaardersplassen must be reduced considerably, because the animals are completely taking over the area, which is supposed to be a bird sanctuary. During the winter there were also protests around the nature reserve, because the large grazers inside did not have enough to eat. 

According to Verbeek, Monday's incident will not change the plans made for Oostvaardersplassen. The commissioner has "absolutely no respect" for the anonymity in which this happened, he said to the newspaper. "There is apparently a group of underground activists with anarchistic aspects. It is annoying that they think they can influence the democratic decision: that will not happen."

Passersby discovered the package and banners early on Monday morning. A photo of one of the banners is circulating on social media. Translated from Dutch, it reads: "Welcome to the shooting gallery of SBB". That may refer to forestry service Staatsbosbeheer.

The police can not yet say whether there is a connection between the banners and the suspicious package.