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Thousands Riot in Small Dutch Town After Facebook Invite to Teen's Birthday Goes Viral


"Scum ran amok in our town"

(Photo: YouTube)

(TheBlaze/AP) -- Thousands of revelers descended on a small Dutch town sparking a riot after a 16-year-old's party invitation went viral on Facebook, authorities said Saturday.

Prosecutor Hessel Schuth said 34 people were arrested were arrested Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday morning and would be prosecuted for public order offenses.  Several people were injured, but none were believed to be seriously hurt.

"Scum ran amok in our town," said Rob Bats, mayor of Haren, 185 kilometers (115 miles) north of Amsterdam.

"An innocent invitation on Facebook for a party led to serious rioting, destruction, plundering, arson and injuries in the middle of Haren," he said.

Reuters has more information, and video of the party:

According to CNN, video of the incident showed the revelers throwing glass bottles and other debris at security teams.

Bats added that an initial analysis showed a core group of rioters "were very violent and well-prepared and deliberately sought confrontation" with hundreds of police who had been dispatched to the town amid fears of trouble.

Dutch media reported that the party originally was planned as a small celebration by a 16-year-old girl, but her invitation went viral when she posted it on Facebook.  According to the Telegraph, roughly 30,000 people received it.

The Telegraph has more video of the party, and interviews with a number of the attendees:

“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,” a spokeswoman for the Groningen police, Melanie Zwama, reportedly explained for the Agence France Presse.

Apparently the town's mayor convinced the girl not to hold the party in an effort to hold back the rioters, but was unsuccessful.

Some of the people arriving in Haren on Friday wore T-shirts emblazoned with "Project X Haren," a reference to the film "Project X" that portrayed an out-of-control party.

On Saturday, another Facebook group sprang up called Project Clean-X Haren, urging people to help clear up the debris littering the town's streets.



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