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Incident in Brussels' EU district leads to arrests of armed suspects

08:43 08/02/2023

Two individuals were arrested on Monday evening after police responded to an incident in Brussels’ European district.

Authorities received word that several armed suspects were in an underground parking garage in the area of Rue Boduognat and responded with a police team and helicopter.

“According to initial information, it was a sale of luxury watches that went wrong, with the fleeing suspects using firearms,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding that they could not provide further comment given that the investigation remains ongoing.

The suspects in question are two men aged 33 and 39.

During the police search, several streets in the district were blocked off and there are reports of hostages having been taken and assaulted.

Belgian media outlets reported that these hostages managed to escape and alert neighbours, who then phoned the police.

The situation was alarming for local residents, many of whom were unable to enter their homes during the time in which the suspects were still on the loose and being searched for.

"Local residents were gathered in The Meeting Point cafe, there were about 30 of us,” one such person said.

"The police informed us that the closed street had nothing to do with the European summit later this week, but that there was a very dangerous situation.

"We were not given any more information, so we tried to monitor the situation with our smartphones. At 23.30, the street was reopened and everyone was able to return home."

Just a week before, a knife attack took place at the nearby Schuman metro station resulting in three victims suffering injuries.

Written by Helen Lyons