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Fire at Rotterdam alderman’s home was likely arson


Fire at Rotterdam alderman’s home was likely arson

The police suspect that the fire at the home of Rotterdam Alderman Faouzi Achbar on Saturday may have been started deliberately, a police spokesperson confirmed on Monday after reporting by AD. The fire at the Denk politician’s home took place on Saturday at around 10:15 p.m.

The alderman was in the stands at the football match between the Netherlands and Turkey at the European Championship in Berlin at the time of the fire. His family was not at home either. No one was injured.

The home in the south of the city was still being investigated on Monday, police said. No arrests have been announced.

Achbar’s home is currently uninhabitable, his spokesperson said. This has to do with the degree of damage, but also with the police investigation. The family is currently staying at another location.

The alderman was very shocked, “but he is doing well under the circumstances”, according to his spokesperson. Achbar is also still working as usual. “We are also awaiting the police investigation. Nothing is yet clear about the motive and the perpetrators. But the police are taking action very quickly.”

The Rotterdam branch of Denk said in a written response that the home “was completely burned down.” Party leader Serkan Soytekin called the possibility of arson “horrific, criminal and cowardly.” The party is “deeply shocked and outraged” and called it “a direct attack on a politician and his family” and on “democracy and our constitutional state.”

The party leader wants the authorities to call those “responsible to account” as soon as possible. “This cannot and must not remain unresolved,” said Soytekin.

Stephan van Baarle, who leads the party’s Tweede Kamer faction, said he was “deeply shocked” by the “disgusting attack.” On X, he said, “I call on the authorities to do everything in their power to catch and punish the perpetrators.”

The local parties Leefbaar Rotterdam, the Rotterdam VVD and D66 Rotterdam called the news “horrible” and said they are “deeply shocked.” CDA Rotterdam faction leader René Segers-Hoogendoorn also denounced any such act of arson. His colleagues wish Achbar and his family much strength.

Expressions of support were also coming in from outside Rotterdam. Amersfoort GroenLinks Alderman Nadya Aboyuaakoub-Akkouh hopes that “everything possible” will be done to catch the perpetrators.

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