Brussels subway shuts down as Belgium warns of ‘serious’ terrorism threat

2015-11-21 10:41
Belgian soldiers patrol the streets of Brussels. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert, AP)

Belgian soldiers patrol the streets of Brussels. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert, AP)

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Brussels - The subway system in Belgium's capital was shut down on Saturday as authorities declared a "serious and present threat" of terrorism.

The national emergency centre declared a Level 4 threat - the highest possible - overnight into Saturday. No details were released, other than to say the situation had received a "new assessment" in the wake of the Paris bombings.

A subway spokesperson said there would be no service all day, with no decision yet on whether to reopen for Sunday. Buses and trams did continue to provide service in Brussels.

Extra security was also reported at the nation's airports and train stations.

"The recommendations for the population are very simple," said a crisis centre spokesperson.

"We ask you to avoid places with large gatherings of people in the Brussels capital region, such as concerts, popular events, train stations, airports and public transportation."

Many of the participants in the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks had ties to the Belgian capital.

The death toll from those attacks rose to 130 on Friday, French media reported. Brussels is also headquarters to the European Union and the Nato defence alliance.

Outside of Brussels, the rest of the country was put on Level 3, which means "a possible and likely" threat.

Prime Minister Charles Michel scheduled a Saturday morning meeting of the national security council to discuss security procedures.

Read more on:    belgium  |  security  |  paris under attack

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