Explosions and shootings rock commuter town of Purmerend

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Residents in Purmerend have spoken of ‘wild west scenes’ after a series of explosions and shootings in the commuter town.

Early on Monday morning three people were rescued from a roof after a fire caused by a blast at a house in Weverstraat. They were taken to hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Police did not say what they suspected the cause of the explosion to be, but in the last week three houses have been shot at and another was firebombed.

On Thursday night the front door of a house in Middenbeemster was damaged by an incendiary device, while in the last week three houses in the municipality have been hit by gunfire.

A 20-year-old man from Amsterdam was arrested on suspicion of being involved in last week’s incidents and police have not ruled out further arrests. They have appealed for witnesses and people in the area with doorbell cameras to come forward.

Local residents have voiced concern in recent months about the growth in drug-related violence in the town of 81,000 people north of Amsterdam.

Mayor Ellen van Selm ordered the houses in Purmerend and Middenbeemster that were targeted last week to be sealed off and cameras to be placed in the neighbourhood to calm fears.

One resident told NH Nieuws: ‘I’ve lived here since 1995 and I’ve never seen anything like this. This is a nice neighbourhood, it’s my neighbourhood, but I’m frightened.’

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