Police chief knocked out in horrific attack at Brussels protest
A Brussels police chief was knocked out cold by a protester during a horrific attack at an anti-austerity rally.
Disturbing footage shows the senior officer running across a street in the Belgian capital, as the protest erupted in chaos.
Police chief Pierre Vandersmissen is seen running towards demonstrators, who were wearing masks and wielding spray cans.
Flash grenades explode at his feet as he tries to intervene, but he was reportedly outnumbered.
Just moments later, the officer is approached by another protester and punched in the side of the head.
The attack sends the man face-first to the ground, where he lays motionless.
His attacker flees the scene.
Other police officers rush to aid their fallen colleague, as clashes continue around them.
The officer’s condition is yet to be confirmed. It's reported he was rushed to hospital and is expected to be released.
The rally was attended by close to 50,000 people – riot police were forced to fire water cannons at the scene, in a bid to stop the chaos.
The protest was against the centre-right government’s social and economic policies, which trade unions claim cut into the foundations of Belgium’s welfare state.