Belgian police kill gunman during raid tied to Paris attacks

Major police operation underway as gunman hunted in Brussels after shots fired in raid related to Nov. 13 Paris attacks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Police at the scene where shots were fired during a search of a house in the suburb of Forest near Brussels, Belgium, March 15, 2016.

Updated Mar 16, 2016

A gunman was killed in a Belgian police raid on Tuesday in a Brussels apartment linked to November's Paris attacks. Two others are on the run, state broadcaster RTBF reported.

A major police operation took place in which four police officers were wounded from heavy weapon fire during the raid, which then led to a hunt of two gunmen.

One suspect was shot dead after being spotted from a police helicopter in a nearby garden, local news said.

Police sealed off streets around the house in the southern section of the city.

French police forces also took part in the raid in the Belgian capital, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Two officers were wounded in an initial incident and two more were also hurt later.

Gunshots were heard as police commandos crowded around the street in which the raided house is located, reports said.

The main area and railway linking Paris and Amsterdam was sealed off along with a car factory in the area, while police helicopters buzzed overhead.

Nearby kindergartens and schools were in lockdown and residents said police told them to stay inside.

Suspects and associates from the Paris attack have been actively hunted by Belgian security forces.

A 26-year-old prime suspect from Brussels, Salah Abdeslam, has not been found.

Some ten people have been arrested by Belgian authorities in the months since the attacks, mostly for helping Abdeslam.

Abdeslam had not been the target of Tuesday's raid, RTBF quoted French police sources as saying.

After the Paris attacks, Brussels, where the headquarters of the European Union as well as Western military alliance NATO are located, was locked down for days.

The Nov. 13 Paris attacks claimed the lives of 130 people, Brussels has maintained a high level of security ever since.

TRTWorld, Reuters