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Bomb alert at Brussels shopping centre sparks anti-terror operation

© Seppe Knapen, AFP | Police cars block the area as police officers gather at the scene of a bomb alert at the City2 shopping mall in the Rue Neuve in the city centre of Brussels on June 21, 2016

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-06-21

Belgian authorities on Tuesday closed off a major shopping centre in the centre of Brussels following a bomb scare.

Police detained a potential suspect around the City 2 shopping centre, but later said the man had been wearing a fake suicide vest.

"No bomb has so far been found. The suicide vest found on a suspect was fake," the Brussels prosecutor's office said.

Earlier, masked police and military were seen patrolling the area in the heart of the Belgian capital.

A spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor said a military bomb disposal team had been sent to the scene following the man’s arrest.

The alert triggered a meeting between Prime Minister Charles Michel and Belgium’s crisis centre, which coordinates security measures.

Belgium has been living under a heightened threat level since the November 13 attacks in Paris, which were perpetrated in part by Belgian nationals and men who had lived in Brussels.

On March 22, attacks on the Brussels subway and airport killed 32 people.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-06-21

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