A small Dutch town was overrun by rioters over the weekend when a large gathering of thousands attended a girl’s birthday party after she posted details on Facebook, officials said on Saturday.
Rob Bats, the mayor of the town of Haren, told CNN that “last night, scum wreaked havoc in our community,” referring to the incident. Prosecutors said 34 people were arrested on Friday night and early on Saturday in connection with the disorder.
A16-year-old girl’s party was planned as a small celebration, but it went viral after she posted it to Facebook and forgot to mark the event “private.” She was identified by the Daily Telegraph as Merthe Weusthuis.
The party invitation was seen by 240,000 people, of which 30,000 said they would attend, according to the newspaper.Authorities said that at least 3,000 people came to the event, pointing to several specific “ring leaders” who instigated the riots, according to CNN.
“An innocent invitation on Facebook for a party led to serious rioting, destruction, plundering, arson and injuries in the middle of Haren,” Bats told The Associated Press.
Dutch police were deployed and were on high alert on Friday as thousands descended around Weusthuis’s house, drinking beer and other alcohol.
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