Brussels terror alert based on fears of ‘Paris-style attack’

Belgian PM Charles Michel says Brussels has been placed on its highest level of terror alert in response to information about the risk of an attack like the one in Paris last week, reports BBC
The fear was that “several individuals with arms and explosives could launch an attack… perhaps even in several places”, Mr Michel said. Some of the attackers who killed 130 people in Paris lived in Brussels.
Leading suspect Salah Abdeslam is believed to have gone back to Belgium.
He is now the focus of a huge manhunt.
The Brussels metro is closed till Sunday and people have been told to avoid crowds.
These include shopping centres and concerts, and the authorities have also recommended that large events, including football matches, be cancelled, a statement said.
The warning for the rest of Belgium stays at a lower level, which is still at a “serious” level. The Belgian government will review the security situation in Brussels on Sunday afternoon, Mr Michel added. At the scene: James Reynolds, BBC News, Brussels. “We are closed, exceptional circumstances” says a sign posted in a shop inside Brussels’ Gare du Midi train station. “Be safe.”
Armed police officers patrol the station’s main concourse. One squad check passengers’ bags. Two officers escort away a drunk man who has come in search of cigarettes.
At 12:08, the Eurostar from London arrives. At the gate, a young woman is embraced by her mother who smiles and says she will take her daughter home as quickly as possible in order to stay safe. Passengers also include a group of British men on a stag weekend. They say they did not want to cancel their plans. They head boisterously out into the city.
Along one of the city’s main shopping streets, shops are open. Rows of security guards stand at the front doors.
I write these words from a table in a half empty fast-food restaurant. Two well armed soldiers in camouflage uniform are standing a metre away from me just inside the front door.


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