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Belgium stages dozens of anti-terror raids, 12 held

Brussles: Belgian police staged sweeping nationwide anti-terror raids and arrested 12 people, as security for 30 VIPs was reinforced over fears of an "imminent" attack. Dozens of searches were carried out across Belgium overnight in a case that needed "an immediate intervention," federal prosecutors said.

Belgian soldiers walk the streets after the dismantling of a new terrorist unit last night, in Brussels. Pic/AFP
Belgian soldiers walk the streets after the dismantling of a new terrorist unit last night, in Brussels. Pic/AFP

Forty people were initially held and 152 garage boxes searched. The raids took place in 16 communes in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia and "passed off without incident," they said in a statement, adding that "until now no arms or explosives were found."

The raids were linked to a threat linked to Belgium'sfootmaill match against Ireland due to be held today in Bordeaux, France. The threat was against targets in Belgium, possibly fans watching the game on television in crowded places. Belgium is still reeling from the Islamic State suicide bombings at Brussels airport and on the city's metro on March 22 which killed 32 people and wounded hundreds more.

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