Dutch arrest two in big raid near Belgium

16th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Police in the Netherlands have arrested two people after a massive operation in south Limburg province, close to the Belgian border, Dutch prosecutors said Monday.

The public prosecutor in a statement said the huge raid, which saw hooded police officers and a helicopter surround a barn next to the A2 highway, was unrelated to the Paris attacks.

"The investigation was carried out because of a threatening situation," the statement added, but it gave no further details.

A police officer at the scene told AFP that "two men were arrested after an arson attempt."

Video images showed at least 10 marked and unmarked police vehicles at a barn near the small town of Susteren, 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Maastricht.

Some police officers could be seen wearing balaclavas.

Local media reports said a robotic device was used by the Dutch explosives clearance unit (EOD) but prosecutors later said in a statement "no explosives had been found."

The Netherlands has been on high alert since Friday's attacks in Paris and the Dutch anti-terror agency told AFP there was no link with the action in Susteren.

"The EOD did not find explosives and a police arrest team has resolved the issue," the Susteren fire department said on its Facebook page.

One of the key suspects in the terror attacks is Salah Abdeslam, 26, against whom an international arrest warrant has been issued by French police, who have described him as "dangerous".

Belgian media described him as "public enemy number one". He is still on the run.

jhe/jm


© 2015 AFP

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