Belgium keeps terror alert at 2nd highest level
Belgium says its terror alert would stay at the second-highest level following a deadly police raid linked to the November 2015 attacks in Paris, France, Press TV reported.
Prime Minister Charles Michel told a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday that the OCAM national crisis center "maintains its level three alert, which means a threat is possible and likely."
Michel called on people to "stay calm and cool-headed" and assured them the security services were working to contain any threats in Belgium.
"I want to insist on the fact that the level three is not an ordinary level," the Belgian premier said, adding, "We have warned for some time that level three was likely to last for some time."
On Tuesday, police raided an apartment in the southern Brussels neighborhood of Forest tied to the assaults in Paris, where assailants struck at least six different venues, leaving 130 people dead and over 350 others wounded.
After a three-hour siege, one gunman identified as Mohamed Belkaid, a 35-year-old Algerian living illegally in Belgium, was killed next to a flag of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group. He was shot dead by a police sniper as he prepared to fire at officers from a window.
Police in Belgium are now continuing to hunt for two suspects who fled the scene.
Investigators believe much of the planning and preparation for last year's shooting and bombing rampage in Paris was conducted in Brussels by French and Belgian nationals, some of whom fought as militants in Syria.
Meanwhile, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders warned that "an attack could be imminent in Brussels and across Belgium."
Belgium, with a Muslim population of about 5 percent among its 11 million people, has Europe's highest rate of citizens joining militants that have been wreaking havoc in Syria.