Man held near Brussels mall, no explosives found

By Reuters/Robert-Jan Bartunek, Philip Blenkinsop   June 21, 2016 | 03:59 pm GMT+7
Man held near Brussels mall, no explosives found
A Belgian bomb disposal expert leaves the central train station where a suspect package was found, in Brussels, Belgium, June 19, 2016. Phôt by Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Belgian police detained a man near a central Brussels shopping centre early on Tuesday, prompting a meeting of the prime minister and the national crisis response centre after initial suspicions that he was carrying explosives.

A security source later told Reuters no explosives had been found on the suspect.

The area around the City2 shopping centre, a major commercial hub in the middle of the Belgian capital, was sealed off, although the nearby metro station was still open.

A spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor said the man was arrested at 5:30 a.m. and the army bomb disposal team was brought in to verify whether he was armed with explosives.

Television footage showed a large police presence in neighboring streets

Belgium's crisis centre, which coordinates security measures, said it was holding a meeting, with Prime Minister Charles Michel and Interior Minister Jan Jambon present, to discuss the incident.

Michel had been expected to appear on an early morning radio show before rushing off to the meeting. 

man-held-near-brussels-mall-no-explosives-found

Belgian soldiers take up position outside the City2 shopping complex which was evacuated following a bomb scare in Brussels, Belgium, June 21, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Francois Lenoir

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