Mounted police TRAMPLE people before turning water cannons on others

Belgian mounted police TRAMPLE revellers with their horses and use water cannons in violent clashes as they try to clear thousands lured to lockdown-breaching ‘festival’ in park by April Fools’ prank

  • Belgians rushed to park in Brussels to attend the fake ‘La Boum’ music festival 
  • Huge crowds launched into a party on the grass, with speakers blasting music 
  •  When they refused to disperse, police on horseback charged into crowds 
  • Other officers fired water cannons and used tear gas against rowdy revellers

Belgian police officers trampled park-goers under horses’ hooves after revellers refused to leave a prank festival for April Fools Day.

More than 2,000 Belgians rushed to Bois de la Cambre park in  Brussels to attend the fake ‘La Boum’ festival which was announced on Facebook as a joke.

It promised ‘eight stages, a hundred DJs and zero coronavirus rules’.

Huge crowds – unperturbed by revelation that the festival was a hoax – launched into a party on the grass, with speakers blasting music and revellers dancing and singing along.

When they refused to disperse, police on horseback charged into crowds while other officers fired water cannons and used tear gas against rowdy revellers.

Four people were arrested and three police officers were injured in the clashes, the force confirmed.

Belgian police officers trampled park-goers under horses’ hooves after revellers refused to leave a prank festival for April Fools Day

More than 2,000 Belgians (pictured being dispersed) rushed to Bois de la Cambre park in Brussels to attend the fake ‘La Boum’ festival which was announced on Facebook as a joke

Huge crowds – unperturbed by revelation that the festival was a hoax – launched into a party on the grass, with speakers blasting music and revellers dancing and singing along. Pictured: Police spraying water cannons at revellers

When they refused to disperse, police on horseback charged into crowds while other officers fired water cannons (pictured) and used tear gas against rowdy revellers

Last month, Belgium authorities announced a raft of stricter measures to combat a third wave of Covid-19 sweeping through Europe.

The country has a 10pm curfew in place across most of the country and all bars, cafés and restaurants are closed.

All of Belgium’s schools are shut. Non-essential shops are open but they can only be visited with a pre-booked appointment. 

As of March 24, all outdoor gatherings are limited to just four people.

Four people were arrested and three police officers were injured in the clashes (pictured), the force confirmed

 Organisers of the La Boum festival told party-goers that the event was fake several times leading up to April 1. Pictured: Police clearing revellers from the park 

Organisers of the La Boum festival told party-goers that the event was fake several times leading up to April 1. 

But even so, police officers were forced to rush in to break up the gathering and clear lockdown-breaching revellers from the park at around 5pm. 

Those who refused to leave began throwing objects – including bottles – at police officers, local paper The Brussels Times reports.

It was then that police officers began using water cannons, tear gas, pepper spray and a drone to break up the party.

Chaotic footage taken at the scene shows police on horseback charging directly into revellers. 

Earlier this week, mayor of the City of Brussels Philippe Close insisted the event was ‘unauthorised and fake’ – but warned people may gather regardless.

He warned that ‘police will be present at Bois de la Cambre and will act with discernment in the event of an actual gathering’ and urged party goers to consider officers ‘who have a lot of work to do and are subject to complex tasks in the context of the pandemic’. 

Belgium has a daily infection rate of 420 – making it currently the tenth worst-hit nation in Europe.

Over the past week, the UK has recorded an average of 73 cases per one million people every day. 

This is a lower rate than all 27 EU nations apart from Denmark and Portugal, which have both adopted strict lockdowns. 

Hungary, the worst affected EU nation, has a daily rate of 882 cases per one million.

In France it is 571, while the rate in the Netherlands is 449 and in Italy it is 334. 

As Europe battles a third wave, UK cases, deaths and hospitalisations have fallen to a six-month low.

On Wednesday, another 43 deaths and 4,052 cases were recorded. 

Deaths are now averaging 50 a day, down from a peak of 1,284 deaths on January 19. It also marked a 56 per cent week-on-week drop in deaths on last Wednesday.

And today, Britain’s daily coronavirus cases have dropped by a third in a week and deaths are continuing to fall.

Department of Health bosses posted 4,479 lab-confirmed cases today and 51 deaths — down 20 per cent on the same time last week.

Figures also showed more second vaccine doses (404,922) than first shots (241,906) were dished out for the second day in a row.

Data across the board revealed the virus remains in retreat, prompting experts to claim reopening schools had a ‘very small’ impact on cases and England was in a ‘good position’ for the next bout of lockdown-easing on April 12.

The Office for National Statistics estimated 148,100 Britons were infected on any given day last week — the lowest figure since before the second wave spiralled out of control and down almost 10 per cent on the previous seven-day spell. 

Belgium has reported over 882,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 23,000 virus-related deaths. 

Hospitalizations due to Covid -19 have risen in recent weeks and health authorities have warned that intensive care units could reach a critical level by April 10 if the pace of new infections and hospitalizations does not slow down.

Large crowds have been gathering in Brussels parks this week to enjoy the unusually warm weather.

Another event has been advertised for Friday in another Brussels park, promoted by a group called the Abyss. 

The group said it does not question the government’s strategy but fights for citizens’ rights to gather outdoors.  

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