At least 2 dead in counterterrorism raid in Belgium


(JTA) — At least two people were killed in Belgium in a police raid on an apartment used by suspected Islamic radicals.

Belgian media said Thursday’s action in Verviers, a town in eastern Belgium, was part of a coordinated crackdown on terrorists prompted by last week’s deadly attacks in Paris, Reuters reported.

Eric Van der Sypt, spokesman for the office of the Belgian federal prosecutor, told The New York Times that Belgian police had “intervened on a terrorist cell planning attacks in Belgium.”

One person also was seriously injured in the counterterrorism raid and several arrests were made.

The raided apartment was above the Croissant d’Or bakery. Reuters reported that several gunshots and explosions were heard on the streets.

Belgian public radio said that police were coordinating additional raids in Brussels, Reuters reported.

Earlier this week, a man suspected of supplying the terrorists behind the Paris attacks with weapons turned himself in to police in Charleroi. The attacks in France on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket killed a total of 16. Also, a policewoman was killed in a separate shooting, allegedly by the same gunman who took hostages in the market.

Belgium has the highest ratio in Europe of citizens who have fought or trained with rebels in Syria, according to security data compiled by researchers.


Recommended from JTA