Clashes broke out at a protest in Brussels on Nov. 21 when tens of thousands of people marched on the streets against tougher COVID-19 restrictions.
Police said about 35,000 protesters began marching from the North Station in the Belgian capital, some of whom threw smoke bombs, fireworks, and rocks at officers.
Images on social media also showed protesters smashing cars, setting trash cans on fire, and attacking police vans with vandalized street signs.
Police fired water cannon and tear gas at the crowd of protesters in response.
According to AFP News, at least two police officers were injured in the clashes and one protester was seen being evacuated by an ambulance.
Police also briefly detained 42 people and arrested two.
Police later said that the situation was “normalized” and that the area was reopened to traffic at around 5 p.m. local time.
The protest called “Together for freedom” took place after the Belgian government announced last week stricter measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 amid rising cases.
The new measures include mandatory wearing of masks for those aged 10 and older for some indoor and outdoor activities and enforced work from home set-up for four days a week.
The new restrictions come on top of existing requirements for COVID-19 passes, which prevent unvaccinated people from entering restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
The protest follow similar demonstrations across Europe amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
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