New Year begins with death and vandalism

A 36-year-old man was killed outright when a firework exploded in his face shortly after midnight, but police said the New Year celebrations passed off largely peacefully. Fire fighters had to deal with dozens of burning cars in The Hague. Some 150 people were arrested.

Police said the man who died may have been killed by a mortar bomb. Another man in Limburg is fighting for his life after trying to light a 21 kilo firework with a cigarette, news agency ANP reported.
In Raalte, firefighters were called to a fire in a disco where 1,500 people were celebrating the New Year, NOS reports. Staff evacuated the building quickly and no-one was injured.
One women was killed in a house fire in Maassluis. It was not clear if the incident was connected to the New Year celebrations.
Fire fighters in Dordrecht were stoned by gangs of drunken youths when they were trying to put out a fire and the police were called to remove the troublemakers. There were similar incidents in Puttershoek, Voorschoten and Leiden.
In Scheveningen, riot police were called in to break up gangs of youths.
There were serious fires in Zoutkamp in Groningen and in central Leeuwarden. The city council says the fire caused millions of euros-worth of damage. And in Maastricht, the granite stairs in a carpark were badly damaged by a firework bomb.
Despite the incidents, police say the New Year celebrations were largely peaceful. However, they told NOS, there had been a lot of vandalism, with letter boxes and bus shelters particular targets.

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