A party invitation which
went viral on Facebook ended in rioting and injury after thousands of
revellers descended on a small town in the Netherlands.
Haren had been braced for trouble all week after what should
have been an invite to a small-scale celebration was passed on to 30,000
The girl whose 16th birthday was being celebrated had not set her Facebook event to "private".
Riot police broke up crowds of revellers who flocked to the town.
The girl who issued the invitation fled her home in Haren, a town of just under 19,000 near the city of Groningen, on Friday.
The party had been cancelled and police had issued an appeal
to would-be revellers not to come to Haren but at least 3,000 turned up
"She posted the invitation on Facebook and sent it to
friends, who then sent it to other friends and soon it spread like
wildfire across the internet," Groningen police spokeswoman Melanie
Zwama told AFP news agency.
Hundreds of riot police were deployed to control the crowds, keeping them away from the street where the girl lives.
trouble began, officers found themselves being pelted with bottles and
stones, as well as flower pots even bicycles, the Dutch news agency ANP
At least six people were hurt and 20 arrests were made as
rioters vandalised and looted shops, setting a car on fire and damaging
street signs and lamp-posts, according to Reuters news agency.
Some revellers accused the police of over-reacting.
Elsewhere, Dutch media were accused of giving the build-up to the party too much publicity.
Revellers could be seen wearing T-shirts marked "Project X
Haren" after Project X - a film released earlier this year about a party
which grows out of control.
Such T-shirts had been selling on the internet for 23 euros
(£18; $30) apiece. Some featured a crude logo of a man on all fours
drinking from a bottle, AFP notes.
A new Facebook page
has since been created called "Project Clean-X Haren" to clear up after
Friday night's disturbances. It had more than 17,000 "likes" as of
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