Attacks on cars increase slightly in Belgium

Youths set fire to vehicles in several cities in Belgium for the third night on Tuesday. Yet the intensity was still incomparable to the rioting in neighboring France, officials confirmed Wednesday

About 15 fires in all were reported in several cities scattered around the nation Tuesday night, but all were isolated incidents of local youths and no major confrontations with police were reported, government spokesman Peter Mertens said.

On Sunday and Monday, a dozen cars were set alight in scenes described as attempts to copy the violence in France according to the AP.

A car, a bus and a truck went up in flames in the port city of Antwerp, while a car was set ablaze in Ghent. Another car was torched in Lokeren, a town located between Ghent and Antwerp.

"It's quite clearly a copycat case involving several youngsters relating to the events in Paris," Ghent police commissioner Steven De Smet told VRT radio.

The officials have sought to forestall any spillover of the French violence by stepping up police patrols and increasing dialogue with immigrant community leaders.

Like France, Belgium has a large immigrant population, many of Moroccan origin, with high unemployment among the young, Reuters reports.


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