Hand grenade found near mayor's home in Kerkdriel, neighborhood evacuated

Dutch police crime scene tape
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A hand grenade was found at an apartment building in Kerkdriel, where the mayor of the municipality of Maasdriel lives, on Monday morning. Dozens of local residents were evacuated as explosive experts disarmed the device, local safety office Veiligheidsregio Gelderland-Zuid said on Twitter.

The explosive was found just before 5:30 a.m. At 11:00 a.m., the safety office announced that the device had been disarmed and no longer posed a danger to the surroundings. Gasthuisplein an Monseigneur Zwijsenplein were cordoned off for investigation.

Mayor Henny van Kooten of Maasdriel, the municipality that covers Kerkdriel, confirmed the discovery of the grenade to local news agencies. "It is sad that this is happening. It is not new that I am threatened. As a mayor, I have been threatened often, but not in this way. My primary concern now is the population," he said to Omroep Gederland. To Brabants Dagblad, he said he expects the grenade was meant as a warning to him. "I can't think of anyone else for whom it can be intended," Van Kooten said.

According to Omroep Gelderland, another possible target is fruit company De Groot in Hedel. A son of the De Groot family lives in the apartment building. In the past, the company found cocaine hidden in its shipments of fruit and vegetables multiple times.