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Final military patrols disappear from Brussels streets and stations
Following six years of constant military presence on the streets and transport stations of Brussels, security patrols have now been taken over by police officers. The final soldier finished patrolling last week.
Armed soldiers have been patrolling Brussels’ public spaces, train stations and on public transport itself since the Charlie Hebdo shooting and related terrorist attacks in Paris in early 2015. Operation Vigilant Guardian, as it was called, stepped up after the Paris attacks of November 2015, and then again of course after the Brussels attack of March 2016.
The security patrols have been gradually taken over by Brussels police officers since late last year and now are fully in their hands. According to a statement released by the federal defence and interior ministers, soldiers will remain patrolling some embassies and other diplomatic institutions for a while longer, but these patrols, too, will be taken over by police later this year.
The decision was made in consultation with defence and other security services. The current threat level in Belgium is 2 (of a 5-level assessment).
Photo ©Thierry Roge/BELGA