Local media has reported that gunshots were fired during an anti-terror raid in the Belgian capital, Brussels.
At least one suspect is reported to have fled the scene and three police officers were left wounded, according to Marie Verbeke, a spokeswoman for the Brussels Midi local police force. It is not clear if the officers was injured directly by gunfire. The incident took place in the Forest area of the city, a southern suburb of Brussels which has now been sealed off by police.
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Anti-terror operation results in gunfire in Brussels
According to Le Soir, the raid was part of the ongoing investigation into the Paris terror attacks which took place in November last year and left 130 people dead. Several of the attackers had ties to Brussels, according to authorities.
A spokeswoman for the Belgian police confirmed to Reuters that one officer had been injured in the operation. She did not confirm whether counter-terrorism units were involved, nor did she say whether the officer had been injured by gunfire.
According to media reports the Forest suburb is located near the Molenbeek neighborhood, where a number of the militants responsible for the Paris attacks are known to have lived. As part of the investigations 11 people have been arrested and charged in Belgium, with 8 still in detention.
Police continue to search for Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the Paris attacks, who comes from Brussels. Abdeslam and his associate Mohamed Abrini are still at large.
Manhunt continues after anti-terror raid goes wrong
La Dernière Heure newspaper said that a Kalashnikov weapon was used against police, and the shooter remains at large. It is not clear how many people fled the scene, although local media reported that two suspects had fled across nearby rooftops.
A local office of electronics manufacturer DVC is currently on lockdown, with 30 members of staff advised not to leave the building. Two local schools and two kindergartens have also been closed as police continue their search.
A witness told RTLInfo: “There is incessant gunfire and its still going. My husband is holed up in the kitchen. You never know. We are scared of stray bullets. It’s still going.”
Another said: “I heard policemen enter the street. An ambulance is there and emergency services are treating injured policemen. Now soldiers are coming into the houses. There are around 50 policemen. They are masked and are wearing bullet-proof vests. It’s a barnum,” she said.