Belgium Police Arrest 16, But Not Paris Fugitive

Salah Abdeslam not to be found
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2015 7:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Belgian prosecutors announced early Monday that police had detained 16 people in 22 raids but that Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam was not among them. Federal prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt said no firearms or explosives were discovered in the raids—19 in Brussels and three in Charleroi in the country's south. One of those detained was injured when a car he was in tried to ram police during an attempted getaway. "The investigation continues," says Van Der Sypt. The raids capped a tense day with hundreds of troops patrolling and authorities hunting for one or more suspected militants. The Belgian government chose Sunday to keep the capital on the highest state of alert into the start of the workweek to prevent a Paris-style attack.

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Citing a "serious and imminent" threat, Prime Minister Charles Michel announced that schools and universities in Brussels will be closed Monday, along with the subway, preventing a return to normal in the city that is also home to the European Union's main institutions. "We fear an attack like in Paris, with several individuals, perhaps in several places," Michel said after chairing a meeting of Belgium's National Security Council. While Brussels was kept on the highest of four alert levels, the rest of the country remains on a Level 3 alert, meaning an attack is "possible and likely." Says Michel: "Nobody is pleased with such a situation. Neither are we. But we have to take our responsibility." (Read more terrorism stories.)

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