July 6, 2017 / 9:35 AM / 3 years ago

Belgium seeking further suspected militants after arresting two

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian police are searching for more members of an Islamist militant cell unearthed earlier this week in possession of assault rifles and police uniform disguises ready for an attack, prosecutors said on Thursday.

They said on Wednesday two men had been arrested and charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation. “We are still looking for additional people,” a spokesman for Belgium’s federal prosecutor said.

Belgium, which hosts European Union and NATO headquarters, has been prominent in the fight against radical Islamists since finding that those who killed 130 people in bombing and shooting attacks in Paris in November 2015 had plotted them in Brussels.

The Belgian capital itself was hit by suicide bombings in March 2016 that killed 32 people.

The two men arrested this week had no links with the groups that carried out the previous attacks, however, prosecutors said, suggesting they may be part of a separate militant cell.

Prosecutors also said they had no information to back up reports in Belgian media on Thursday that authorities feared an imminent attack in the country.

“We can never exclude that one of those guys gets into a car and does something stupid. But do we have any concrete evidence that this is going to happen? No!” the spokesman said.

Belgian is currently at level three on a four-tier security threat scale.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Mark Heinrich

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