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One man 'neutralised' by Belgian police as explosions heard during Brussels raids

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
One man 'neutralised' by Belgian police as explosions heard during Brussels raids

Two explosions were heard and a man was "neutralised" as police carried out more raids in a Brussels neighbourhood on Friday, Belgian state media reported.

One man was reported to have been detained as Belgian authorities carried out multiple operations following the terror attacks on Tuesday at Brussels airport and the Metro in which 31 people died and 270 were injured

At least one suspect in the city attacks is at large, and it is unclear whether there were other accomplices.

Six people were detained on Thursday after raids targeted central Brussels, Jette and the Schaerbeek neighbourhoods, where police earlier found a huge stash of explosives and bomb-making material in an apartment used by the attackers.

Prosecutors are expected to decide later on Friday whether to charge or release those detained

State broadcaster RTBF said several police operations were under way in Schaerbeek on Friday, and one person has been detained.

It said one explosion was heard at the start of the operation and cited witnesses describing gunfire.

A witness told RTBF they heard two blasts and shots from heavy weapons during the police raid.

A third blast was later reported from the neighbourhood.

AP reporters at the scene described hearing a new blast, though it was unclear whether it was a controlled police detonation.

About 50 officers appear to be involved in the operation.

Schaerbeek mayor Bernard Clerfayt told RTBF that one person was "neutralised" in the ongoing police operation in his district.

He did not say whether that meant the person was arrested or wounded.

He confirmed the raid is linked to the investigation into this week's suicide bombings.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel dropped out of a wreath-laying ceremony at Brussels airport with US Secretary of State John Kerry because of the ongoing police operation.

Later, RTBF said one person carrying a bag of explosives material was wounded and arrested in the raid, which is now over.

AP reported that explosives robots and experts were still combing the area.

RTBF said Mr Clerfayt said the arrested person was linked to the attacks in Brussels this week and an arrest in France.

Belgian prosecutors said three people were detained in the latest raids in Brussels prompted by the arrest of a Frenchman in the Paris area suspected of plotting a new attack.

The federal prosecutor's office said the three were arrested on Friday in three different districts of the Belgian capital - Schaerbeek, Forest and Saint-Gilles.