Counter-terrorism raids carried out in southern Brussels have left three Belgian police officers injured and one suspect dead.Police killed a gunman after the suspects shot at police in an apartment raid, with at least two suspects currently on the run.
Belgium’s federal prosecutor said that upon police arrival at the apartment, the suspects opened fire through the door before barricading themselves in.
Two officers were wounded at the property and the third was injured during the police mobilisation following the initial search.
A spokesperson for the federal prosecutor confirmed the operation was linked to last November’s deadly attacks in Paris. Police are still trying to establish the dead suspect’s identity.
After five hours of police activity, security forces allowed residents back into their homes and escorted children from local schools.
Belgian security forces have been actively hunting suspects in association with the Paris attacks as Brussels resident Salah Abdeslam, a prime suspect in the investigation, remains on the run.
The authorities have arrested 10 people in the months following the attacks, many in relation to helping Mr Abdeslam; however, French police sources say Mr Abdeslam was not the target of Tuesday’s raid.
Belgium, which has a Muslim population of about five per cent amongst 11 million people, has the highest rate in Europe of citizens joining Islamist militants in Syria. – Ashleigh Cant
Screengrab of police in Brussels from Reuters.