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April Fool’s prank gets serious after police use water cannon, tear gas to disperse crowd in Belgium

CA, 02 Apr 2021
An April Fool's prank in Brussels got out of control on Thursday when anti-riot police used tear gas and a water cannon to disperse youths who gathered for a "joke" party during Belgium's COVID-19 lockdown.

The Facebook announcement for "La Boum" (the name given to the party) was intended as an April Fool's joke, but sent police and prosecutors scrambling when nearly 20,000 people said they planned to attend.

The announcement, posted in March, promised a host of DJs including singer and producer Calvin Harris and a one-off reunion of French band Daft Punk in the Bois de la Cambre, Brussels' largest park on Thursday evening.

Belgium recently entered a third lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with groups limited to four people meeting outside.

Local police repeatedly told the public that there would be no party.

"No authorization has been given for a party and the police will be there with a reinforced presence," the police said in a tweet.

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