Video: Police van bomber among six Hague rioting suspects arrested

Firework bomb thrown under a police van in Duindorp, The Hague, 3 December 2019
Firework bomb thrown under a police van in Duindorp, The Hague, 3 December 2019PolitiePolitie

Six people accused of were arrested Monday morning in The Hague, including one who was accused of setting off a heavy firework bomb underneath a police van. One of the seven police officers inside the van suffered permanent hearing damage from the December 3 explosion, police said on Monday.

A 38-year-old Hague man was accused in that case of public violence, and either attempted assault or attempted aggravated assault. The incident, which left the van wrecked, was caught on video by a police helicopter. "The images show a projectile rolling towards the vehicle. There was an explosion after that, followed by a second blast," police said.

Separately, on December 7 police discovered a firework bomb in a planter in front of a house on the Zeezwaluwstraat. A forensic investigation into the device led police to 42-year-old man from The Hague, who was subsequently arrested on weapons charges. Police also suspect him of preparing plans to commit arson, and causing an explosion.

On top of that, the same man is suspected of deliberately trying to run over a police officer in an incident that was caught on camera and shared on social media. It happened on December 2, during the third consecutive night of rioting in the Duindorp neighborhood. "This officer was busy with an arrest and had to suddenly jump out of the way when a passenger car struck him," police said.

The four others taken into custody on Monday face charges related to sedition. Three men, aged 35, 37 and 39 and all from The Hague, called for more rioting to take place in their hometown, police allege. "The three are suspected of inciting [others] to commit violence against persons or property," police said.

A 43-year-old Hague resident was also accused of doing the same in the Laak district.

The rioting was largely linked to anger that the annual New Year's bonfire on the Duindorp beach will not take place this year, as last year's bonfire at rival neighborhood Scheveningen caused many fires. After a scathing report against the municipality's handling of the rival bonfires, a factor in Mayor Pauline Krikke's resignation, the bonfires were effectively prevented from happening at the end of the year.