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Brussels Anti Terror Raids Result In 16 Arrests, Main Suspect Not Found

anti terror raids

Belgian security forces launched a huge operation in Brussels on Sunday evening, involving at least 19 anti terror raids.

Authorities say that 16 arrests were made by Belgian police during the raids, but the main suspect was not among them.

Salah Abdeslam was one of the key suspects in the Paris attacks and is reportedly still at large in Belgium.

No weapons or explosives were found during the searches.

RT reports:

A total of 19 raids were carried out in Brussels and three houses were searched in Charleroi, south of the capital.

The police crisis center announced that operations were over in Brussels sometime after 11 pm (10 pm GMT) local time

Unconfirmed reports by DH.de suggest that six suspects were arrested during the operation, with one wounded. Those arrested reportedly did not include Salah Abdeslam, the Paris attack terror suspect.

Belgian news agency RTBF reported that several arrests were made elsewhere, including the detention of one man in the region of Charleroi.

Authorities said they will hold a press conference at 00:30 local time (23:30 Sunday GMT).

Earlier, Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput asked the public on Twitter “not to report their movements on social media” using the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown,

“For safety, please observe radio silence on social media about ongoing police operations,” police press-service posted on Twitter.

Residents in central Brussels were told to stay away from windows, and hotel guests were asked to stay inside.

Several central streets in Brussels were cordoned off, while another “large” police deployment was reported in the Etterbeek municipality near the capital.

Belgium’s prime minister announced on Sunday that the highest level of alert will remain in effect for Brussels on Monday, saying that there is a threat of coordinated, multiple, Paris-like attacks.The Metro, universities and schools will remain closed.