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Explosion hits Covid test centre with site ‘deliberately targeted’, police say

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An explosion has erupted at a coronavirus testing centre.

Police said the blast in the Netherlands appeared to have been intentional.

It went off at the facility in the town of Bovenkarspel at 6.55am on Wednesday, before it opened.

Windows were shattered but no one was injured.

Authorities said the site seemed to have been targeted by a metal pipe device.

The metal remains of the explosive, about 4inches by 4 inches in size, were found on the front of the building.

Police spokesman Menno Hartenberg said it "must have been placed" there.

He said: “We don't know yet exactly what exploded, the explosives experts must first investigate.

"What we're saying is that something like that doesn't just happen by accident, it has to be laid.”

Officers have cordoned off the area as they investigate at the site, which lies about 35miles north of the Dutch capital Amsterdam.

The incident comes shortly before national elections on March 17, which are widely seen as a referendum on the Dutch government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The region around Bovenkarspel, a rural town, is currently suffering one of the country’s worst Covid outbreaks.

It has 181 cases per 100,000 people, compared with around 27 per 100,000 nationally.

At least one hospital has been forced to send patients to other provinces due to lack of space in its intensive care units.

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  • Coronavirus

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