By Clement Rossignol
BRUSSELS Belgian police sealed off an area of Brussels and evacuated some residents on Thursday while bomb disposal experts checked a car carrying gas bottles, a police spokeswoman told local media.A Reuters journalist at the scene heard a small blast about an hour after the incident was first reported. It was not clear whether it was a controlled explosion by the bomb squad.Officers had stopped a car which ran several red lights, the spokeswoman for the local police district said. When they checked it, they found the gas bottles and called for back-up.
Public broadcaster RTBF quoted the local borough mayor as saying the arrested driver of the car was on a list of people suspected of being connected to radical organisations. When he refused to open the trunk, officers forced it open and found the canisters. Broadcaster RTL said three canisters were recovered.
The city transport authority said a metro station close to the main Gare du Midi railway station had been closed.The Belgian capital is still on high alert nearly a year after Islamic State suicide attacks at the airport and a metro station killed 32 people on March 22, 2016.
(Additional reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)
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Published Date: Mar 02, 2017 23:47 PM | Updated Date: Mar 02, 2017 23:47 PM