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Security tensions rise in Belgium on eve of EU summit

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The European Union flag flies outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, September 28, 2022. Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters

BRUSSELS (AP) – Security tensions escalated Wednesday ahead of the European Union summit in Brussels, as police began searching for a man they wanted to interview following reports of unspecified threats. .

The Brussels public prosecutor’s office later announced that authorities had detained a man in the case and were identifying him.

The police investigation comes a week after Islamic extremists shot dead two Swedes and injured a third. Authorities said the Tunisian suspect died after a police operation that attempted to arrest him.

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The search for a man wanted in connection with unspecified threats came on the eve of a two-day European Union summit that begins in Brussels on Thursday. There, the 27 EU leaders will discuss, among other things, the Israel-Hamas war.

Last week’s killings exposed the inefficiency of the government and judicial institutions that allowed the suspects to roam freely in Brussels, even as Tunisia actively sought his extradition. The justice minister resigned over the weekend over the incident.

Since the incident, Belgium’s terror alert level has been raised to the second-highest level, meaning the threat is considered “severe.”

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office also announced on Wednesday that it had detained a suspect in possession of the semi-automatic rifle used to kill the two Swedes. He will be questioned later on Wednesday, after which a decision on his arrest will be made.

left:
The European Union flag flies outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, September 28, 2022. Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters



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