Skip to main content

40 picked up, 12 held as Belgium moves to foil another terror bombing

Big football showdown with Ireland thought probable target in projected Islamist attack

Policemen patrol Antwerp Central train station in Belgium

Belgian police have raided dozens of homes and detained 12 people for allegedly preparing new terror attacks in the country during at least one of Belgium's matches at the ongoing European Football Championship. Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel urged the people to remain calm at a time when the nation still deals with the aftermath of recent terror attacks which killed dozens of civilians.

As people in Belgium planned massive parties Saturday to watch live broadcasts of the country's football team playing Ireland, police forces rushed into action. Authorities said one or more attacks were feared including in the capital Brussels, during one of Belgium’s Euro 2016 football matches.

The federal prosecutor's office said that homes and car ports were searched overnight in 16 municipalities, mostly in and around Brussels. It explained that 40 people were taken for interrogation, of which 12 were arrested. A judge was to rule on their continued detention later Saturday.

At a hastily organized press conference following the raids, Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel urged his nation to remain calm. He said the terror level across the nation would remain at the second-highest level, meaning a threat of an attack "is possible and likely."

This article continues at [Vatican Radio] Belgian police detain 12 suspects ahead of imminent attacks

Back to top