Belgian Mayor Asks for Army Help to Tackle Flooding Looters

A military convoy drives through Kempen National Park in Maasmechelen near Maastricht on May 21, 2021, as authorities continue their search for a missing weapons instructor. - Belgium will tighten how it vets soldiers for extremist views, ministers said, as the hunt continued for a missing weapons instructor. Police and …
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The mayor of the Belgian municipality of Esneux has called on the country’s armed forces for help after a wave of looting following the large-scale flooding that has rocked the country.

Mayor Laura Iker asked the governor of Liege to call in the army because of the thefts and looting, arguing that police were not capable of handling the situation alone.

“We have asked the governor for the help of the army because the policing zone alone cannot increase its numbers, which are already in use to its maximum capacity. We are waiting for a reply that we hope will be positive,” Ms Iker said, broadcaster RTBF reports.

In the meantime, the mayor said she had engaged security contractors, saying: “A private company will take care of monitoring the streets, but this is not enough to counter this phenomenon. Several thefts have been observed in the commune, and people are about during the night. For example, the Tourist Office was ransacked.”

Mayor of the town of Trooz, Fabien Beltran, expressed similar concerns over looting, saying: “Some people act unscrupulously, and we have therefore hired a company to carry out patrols during the night.” The Trooz mayor also announced a curfew between 11 pm and 6 am to stop further looting.

Robberies have also been reported in Chaudfontaine, where at least 4,500 people in 1,900 households have been affected by the flooding.

On Tuesday, Belgium held a day of mourning for the lives lost in the flooding. At least 70 people in Belgium are reported missing. The floods have affected other countries, including Germany and have seen over 200 confirmed casualties.

The flooding is also expected to cost hundreds of millions of euros in damages. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has already announced a €400 million (£343m/$472m) aid package to help the victims.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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