Police in the Netherlands have confirmed that a number of shots were fired during a tractor protest in the north of the country last night (Tuesday, July 5).

A social media post from police in northern Friesland claimed that an attempt had been made to drive into police officers and service vehicles on a road in Heerenveen at around 10:40p.m.

“A threatening situation arose. Warning shots were fired and targeted shots were fired,” the police said (translated) on Twitter.

The police confirmed that a tractor was hit during the heated incident.

Image: Poilitie Fryslan Twitter

The police stated that a tractor which drove away from the incident and was stopped shortly afterwards.

“Three suspects have been arrested. No-one was injured. The road is currently closed for the investigation,” the police added.

A separate video posted to Twitter claims to show the moment when Dutch police officers fired shots at a tractor.

Dutch politician Wybren van Haga, who shared the video on his Twitter account, said (translated): “It is unbelievable that it has come to this in the Netherlands.

“Police are shooting at a farmer who was demonstrating. I am deeply ashamed of this cabinet,” the leader of the Belang van Nederland (BVN) party said.

Dutch police explained that as officers had fired shots, the country’s National Criminal Investigation Department has been informed and will be carrying out an independent investigation.

The police added that they were aware of images from Heerenveen that show a firearm being used.

They said that statements from all involved in the incident will be included in the investigation and urged people not to “get ahead of things”.

Last night’s demonstration is the latest in a series of protests by Dutch farmers who are angry at proposals to cut nitrogen emissions.

On June 22, thousands of Dutch farmers gathered in the village of Stroe around 70km east of Amsterdam, to take part in a protest.

Farmers have also blocked roads and picketed outside distribution centres and supermarkets.

They are also demonstrating today at Groningen Airport Eelde, located in the northeast of the country.

Earlier this year, the Dutch government unveiled targets to cut nitrogen emissions by between 12-70%, depending on the location.

The highest rate would apply to areas close to nature reserves and places where water and soil quality need to improve significantly.

The administration said that €24.3 billion will be made available to achieve the reductions, in addition to €7 billion already committed.

It has urged farmers to consider three options: Become more sustainable; relocate; or exit the industry.

Dutch farming organisations have branded the proposals, which will be implemented by provincial administrations, as “unrealistic”.