Emergency services staff attacked with fireworks as Dutch New Year's events begin

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Police lights (Photo: Politie)Police lights (Photo: Politie)

Police officers and firefighters were attacked in Groningen and Utrecht over the weekend where young people on the street wreaked havoc with fireworks, authorities said. Fifteen people were arrest in connection with multiple incidents in the Paddepoel district of the city, AD reported.

It started when the fire department arrived in the district to put out a blaze, and had to respond again just an hour later when fire ignited again. On the second visit, heavy fireworks were lobbed at the firefighters causing police to respond.

Beer bottles and more fireworks were hurled at the emergency workers, leading to the eventual arrests. A squad car was also damaged. Police are asking for any witnesses to come forward if they have evidence, like photos and videos shot on a smartphone at the scene.

A similar incident took place in Utrecht on Saturday, where paramedics joined the fire department and police department in tackling an apartment building fire on de Stanleylaan. Witnesses say a blast caused the fire, which displaced about two dozen people.

Fireworks exploded near the rescue workers as they were dealing with the situation in the Kanaleneiland-Zuid neighborhood.

There were no arrests made immediately, but five others were arrested for various car fires around the city, reported De Utrechtse Internet Courant. Eight people were treated for injuries related to the incident..

Heavy fireworks were also shot at a police car in Veenendaal on Sunday night, possibly injuring a bystander. Two police officers were unharmed.

One person, 20, was taken into custody.

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