Belgian prosecutors announced early Monday that police had detained 16 people in 22 raids but that Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam was not among them. Despite the raids, authorities maintained their highest terror alert in the capital for a third straight day.
Federal prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt said 19 raids were carried out in Molenbeek and other boroughs of Brussels and three raids were carried out in other cities.
“We have to stress that no firearms or explosives were discovered … during the raids,” Van Der Sypt said.” Certain elements in the investigation made Sunday’s intervention necessary. The investigation will in any case be relentlessly continued.”
One of those detained was injured when a car he was in tried to ram police during an attempted getaway, Van Der Sypt said.
The raids capped a tense day with hundreds of troops patrolling and authorities hunting for one or more suspected militants, the Belgian government chose Sunday to keep the capital on the highest state of alert into the start of the workweek to prevent a Paris-style attack.
Citing a “serious and imminent” threat, Prime Minister Charles Michel announced that schools and universities in Brussels will be closed Monday, with the subway remaining shut down, preventing a return to normal in the city that is also home to the European Union’s main institutions.
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