Hell of a hangover: 4,000-strong Facebook party leaves Dutch town ravaged (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A Dutch girl had a most memorable, if unpleasant, birthday party when some 4,000 people showed up in her small hometown. The crowd - attracted by her invitation, which accidentally went viral - looted shops and clashed with riot police.

­Twenty-nine people, including three officers were injured overnight Friday in the town of Haren in the north of the country, police reported on the day after the rioting.

As violence raged across the normally sleepy community, rowdy visitors set a car on fire, looted several shops and vandalized street signs and lampposts.

Dutch police had to call in 500 extra officers in the wake of the expected rampage. Eventually they broke up the crowd, which was throwing stones, bottles and flower pots at police.

Police arrested 34 people and will charge them with public disturbance, local police chief Oscar Drots told the media.

Dutch insurers estimate that the damage to the town was at least $1.3 million and pledged to do everything possible to recoup at least some of the coverage from the culprits, Dutch news agency ANP reported.

Chairs burn in the northern Dutch town of Haren late on September 21, 2012 (AFP Photo / ANP / Catrinus Van Der Veen)
Chairs burn in the northern Dutch town of Haren late on September 21, 2012 (AFP Photo / ANP / Catrinus Van Der Veen)

The rioting was the culmination of an online campaign, which started when a girl posted a video invitation to her 16th birthday party on her Facebook page and forgot to mark it as private.

The news went viral, and several sites dedicated to the forthcoming event popped up. The party was dubbed “Project X Haren” by some, in reference to a US-made comedy film about a similarly disastrous incident.

By this week, some 30,000 people signed up to the invitation to the town, which has a population of 18,000. The girl’s family went into hiding as the police braced for Friday’s invasion of party-goers.

Previously "Project X" parties have run riot in different parts of the world, including Germany, Australia and the United States. In one incident in America, teens caused damage of up to $100,000 when they broke into an unoccupied Texas home.

Riot police officers stand next to a man lying on the ground as they went into action in the northern Dutch town of Haren late on September 21, 2012 (AFP Photo / ANP / Catrinus Van Der Veen)
Riot police officers stand next to a man lying on the ground as they went into action in the northern Dutch town of Haren late on September 21, 2012 (AFP Photo / ANP / Catrinus Van Der Veen)
The teenager who send a public Facebook party invite (R) leaves her house with her mother in Haren, on September 21, 2012 (AFP Photo / ANP / Catrinus Van Der Veen)
The teenager who send a public Facebook party invite (R) leaves her house with her mother in Haren, on September 21, 2012 (AFP Photo / ANP / Catrinus Van Der Veen)