Hand grenades force Almere evacuation; Emergency siren was "accidental"

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New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie)New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie)

Two hand grenades found around the Grote Markt in Almere on Thursday were rendered harmless by explosives experts, police said. The popular district was evacuated at the start of the business day after the first grenade was found outside an ABN Amro bank branch on Koopmanstraat at about 8:30 a.m.

A second grenade was spotted just steps away from the bank, at the Saint-Tropez shisha lounge on the popular square. Emergency workers kept the area clear until 1:30 p.m., police said on Twitter.

Images circulating on social media showed a line of police officers carefully combing the square in an apparent search for more explosives.

Residents who were forced out of their homes were all kept safe, Mayor Franc Weerwind told Omroep Flevoland.

A municipal emergency siren was also triggered in Almere on Thursday morning, however it was the alarm was triggered accidentally in an incident unrelated to the hand grenade discovery. The siren, which also sounded in Dronten, Lelystad, Noordoostpolder, Urk, and Zeewolde, happened when someone "accidentally pressed the wrong button," a fire department spokesperson told AD.