Terror suspects are spotted near Euro 2016 fanzone in Brussels as police arrest 12 ‘plotting to attack during Belgium-Ireland match’
- Belgian police mounted raids overnight and arrested 12 people in Brussels
- Belgium’s game with Ireland will be shown on TV in a fanzone in Brussels
- RTBF TV channel said terror suspects were seen driving near the fanzone
By Chris Summers For Mailonline
Published: 08:40, 18 June 2016 |
Police in Brussels have arrested 12 people and raided dozens of homes after terror suspects were seen driving near a fanzone where Belgian fans will gather this afternoon to watch their team’s Euro 2016 game against Ireland later today.
The Belgian team, known as the Red Devils, are due to play the Republic of Ireland in Bordeaux this afternoon but it is thought Brussels was the target, possibly fans watching the match on giant TV screens in the city centre.
Belgian prime minister Charles Michel said security would be stepped up at public events.
Belgian soldiers walk the streets of Brussels today after a suspected terrorist cell was dismantled overnight. Suspects were seen scoping out a fanzone where today fans will watch Belgium’s game against Ireland.
After a meeting of the Belgian security council he tweeted to say events would go ahead as planned and urged the public to remain calm.
The broadcaster RTBF said terror suspects were seen driving on Friday near a fanzone in central Brussels, where today’s game is being relayed from France on giant screens.
Earlier Farouk Özgünes, a reporter with Flemish public broadcaster VTM said: ‘The suspects were planning to carry out attacks while the Red Devils were playing a match at the European Championships this weekend. Perhaps they were planning to commit another attack today in Brussels.’
The game between Belgium and Ireland (pictured, with Belgium in the red kit) has now kicked off in Bordeaux and security is high in the Belgian capital, especially around the fanzone.
Police said homes and garages were searched in 16 municipalities, mostly in and around Brussels.
The federal prosecutor’s office said ‘immediate intervention’ had been required.
Europe is on high alert as the tournament is under way in neighbouring France.
Police said 40 people were taken in for interrogation, of which 12 were arrested.