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No explosives found in car halted by Brussels police

Posted August 8

— Belgian prosecutors said no explosives were found in a car stopped by police gunfire after a high-speed chase in the flash-point Brussels suburb of Molenbeek.

Police chased the car after the driver ran a red light and the vehicle was involved in two collisions before it was finally brought to a halt, Ine Van Wymersch, spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor's office, said.

"When the person got out, he immediately claimed that there were explosives inside," Van Wymersch said.

She declined to identify the suspect, but said he was a Rwandan national born in 1981 who was not previously known to police.

A few hundred people were kept in nearby shops as a precaution while heavily protected army bomb disposal experts were called in to assess the situation.

Unprotected police and forensic experts were later at the scene, taking objects from the car and examining them.

"Nothing suspicious was found in the vehicle," Van Wymersch said.

The all-clear was given just over three hours after the car was stopped. No one was injured.

Brussels has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people in attacks on the city's airport and subway on March 22, 2016. Many suspects linked to those attacks and the November 2015 massacre in Paris lived in or transited through Molenbeek.

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