(CNN)At least two people were wounded after police in the Dutch city of Rotterdam fired warning shots during a protest over Covid-19 measures on Friday, according to a police statement.
“A demonstration on the Coolsingel (street) resulted in riots. Fires have been set in various places, fireworks were set off and the police have fired several (warning) shots,” Rotterdam Police said in a tweet. “We fired warning shots and there were also direct shots fired because the situation was life-threatening,” police spokesperson Patricia Wessels told Reuters.”We know that at least two people were wounded, probably as a result of the warning shots, but we need to investigate the exact causes further,” she said.The unrest in Rotterdam on Friday involved several hundred protesters, the torching of cars and police vehicles being damaged. In a statement on Twitter Saturday, Rotterdam police said at least seven people were injured during the demonstration. They did not disclose the severity or nature of the injuries but noted that police officers had also been injured. Read MoreAt least 20 arrests were made following the unrest, according to police. The police statement said they used a “maximum deployment of the police necessary to restore public order,” and urged people to stay away from Coolsignel. Rotterdam police shut down public transportation and ordered people to go home on Friday as protests escalated.Several hundred people had gathered to voice opposition to government plans to restrict access to indoor venues to people who have a “corona pass”, showing they have been vaccinated or have already recovered from an infection.The pass is also available to people who have not been vaccinated, but have proof of a negative test.Europe is learning a crucial lesson — vaccines work, but they alone won't stop Covid nowPolice issued an emergency ordinance in Rotterdam, shutting down public transportation and ordering people to go home. Water cannons were deployed and police on horseback carried out charges to disperse the crowds, police said.The authorities also called on bystanders and people who recorded images of the riots to send the footage to police for further investigation.The Netherlands reimposed some lockdown measures last weekend for an initial three weeks in an effort to slow a resurgence of coronavirus contagion, but daily infections have remained at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.Video posted on social media showed burnt out police cars and rioters throwing fireworks and rocks at police.