Two people were killed and one person was seriously wounded Thursday during a police counterterrorism raid in the Belgian city of Verviers, in the province of Liège near the German border, RTBF reports.
The operation was intended to check on suspected radicals believed to have returned to the area after taking part in the Syrian civil war. Belgium has seen significant radical Islamist activity among its Muslim population.
“We recieved intelligence information that this group was just about to carry out some terrorist operations in Belgium,” the Belgian federal prosecutor said during a news conference.
“The two suspects immediately began opening fire at the police officers before they were neutralized. The third suspect was arrested. No police officers or civilians were injured during the operation,” the federal prosecutor added.
Local media reports detailed that gunshots and explosions were heard on a residential street near a railway station. Police raided an apartment above the Croissant d’Or bakery after receiving search warrants, RTBF said. This photo was posted on Twitter by a person in the area:
The channel showed video of a building at night lit up by flames, with the sound of shots being fired. A local resident named Marie-Laure told RTBF said she was in the street with her children when a police commando told them to run for cover.
Here is a video of the scene posted on YouTube:
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Crispian Balmer)
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