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Brussels riot police use water cannon to break up protest

with Brussels reporting by James Franey Riot police in Brussels on Sunday deployed water cannon to break up an apparent far-right demonstration in

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Brussels riot police use water cannon to break up protest

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with Brussels reporting by James Franey

Riot police in Brussels on Sunday deployed water cannon to break up an apparent far-right demonstration in Place de la Bourse.

A group of around 400 demonstrators arrived at the square a little after 2 p.m. local time.

Many of the protesters appeared to be right-wing nationalists, chanting anti-immigration chants and slogans such as “Together against Islamic State (ISIL).”

Some of the demonstrators, many of whom were clad in black and wearing balaclavas, performed Nazi salutes.

A large banner read “Casuals against terrorism,” referring to ‘casual’ culture, which is linked to football hooliganism. Some of the protesters told euronews that they identified with various Belgian football clubs.

Dozens of Belgian riot police encircled the protesters, isolating them from the other people gathered in Place de la Bourse.

Water cannon were deployed at around 3.30 p.m. local time and the demonstrators retreated from the square.

Hundreds of people had already been gathered in Place de la Bourse, which has been a focal point for tributes to those who died in bomb attacks on Tuesday (22 March) at the city’s main airport and a metro station, before the demonstrators arrived.

A peace march had earlier been planned for Sunday at 2 p.m., but was postponed by the Belgian authorities.

with Brussels reporting by James Franey