Belgium detains four suspects after 13 anti-terror raids

Friday 25/03/2016
Belgium is struggling to face down extremism within its borders

BRUSSELS - Belgian police detained four people for questioning in connection with terrorism after 13 raids Sunday across Brussels and the towns of Duffel and Mechelen to the north, the federal prosecutor said.
"In connection with the terrorism dossier, 13 raids were carried out this morning... in all nine people were questioned, with five of them later released," the prosecutor said in a statement.
The statement made no direct mention of Tuesday's twin bomb attacks on Brussels airport and a metro train in which 28 people were killed and 340 were hurt.
It said there were four raids in Mechelen, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) due north of Brussels, and one in Duffel, 40 kilometres in the same direction.
The examining magistrate will decide later whether the four people held will be put in preventive detention, it said.
The prosecutor said the authorities would say nothing for the moment about the results of the searches.
The suicide bombings, Belgium's worst ever terror attacks, were claimed by the Islamic State group.
Also on Sunday, police used water cannon to control hundreds of protesters in central Brussels after they ignored an official call for solidarity marches following Tuesday's bomb attacks to be postponed.
White-helmeted riot police moved behind the water cannon to push back the crowd which public broadcaster RTBF said numbered between 500 and 1,000.
Protesters shouted slogans condemning the airport and metro bomb attacks, which killed 31 people and injured scores of others, and expressing solidarity with the victims.