UK

Brussels Police Open Fire On Car After Driver Said It Had Explosives

It followed a police pursuit.

08/08/2017 18:02 BST | Updated 08/08/2017 21:41 BST

Police in Brussels have opened fire on a car in the Molenbeek district, as the driver claimed there were explosives in the vehicle.

The shooting followed a police pursuit. Belgian broadcaster RTL reported the shots were fired after the car became stuck in traffic and reversed into a police car.

“We got the driver out, and he immediately told us that there were explosives inside,” a police spokesman told RTL.

Francois Lenoir / Reuters
A bomb disposal squad is deployed after Belgian police shot at a vehicle in the Brussels district of Molenbeek
Francois Lenoir / Reuters

A spokeswoman for prosecutors in Brussels said: “The man was driving suspiciously and failed to stop at a traffic light.

“When the police arrested him, he claimed to have explosives so not to take any risk, the army has been called in to check.”

They did not find and explosives in the car.

The arrested driver, who was unarmed, was described as “mentally unstable”.

“It’s a mentally unstable person,” a spokeswoman for prosecutors said. “The military did not find any explosive in his vehicle.”

Molenbeek is a poor neighbour of Brussels that gained notoriety after an Islamic State cell based there the Paris attacks in November 2015 that killed 130 people.

Associates of that group attacked Brussels four months later, killing 32 people.