Belgium, France detain five in anti-terror swoop

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 05, 2017 6:32 AM

BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) - Belgian prosecutors said four people had been detained after automatic weapons were found in house searches in Brussels as part a counter-terrorism investigation overnight into Wednesday.

Another person was arrested by anti-terrorist police on the French side of the border with Belgium, a French judicial source said. A French police source said the arrest was part of a joint operation led by the Belgians.

Police found Kalashnikovs, bullet-proof vests and ammunition in raids on two garages and four homes in the capital's Anderlecht district, Belgian media outlet RTBF reported.

"During one of the house searches, various weapons were found," federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The Belgian prosecutors said the overnight detentions were separate from investigations into Islamist attacks in Paris in November 2015, which killed 130 people, and in Brussels four months later in which 32 people were killed.

La Voix du Nord newspaper said the arrest in France followed a raid by counter-terrorist police in the early hours of Wednesday in a suburb of the northern city of Lille.

The suspect fled the house but was detained in an adjacent street, dressed only in a T-shirt and shorts.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel in Brussels, Emmanuel Jarry and Brian Love in Paris; Editing by Richard Balmforth/Jeremy Gaunt)