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Major police operation in Forest was false alarm

22:01 22/02/2018

A large-scale armed police operation in Forest on Thursday afternoon was called off after three hours - as reports of an armed man in a building on Rue Jean-Baptiste Vanpé turned out to be a false alarm.

Roads were sealed off, residents were told to stay indoors and a police helicopter flew over the neighbourhood at low altitude. Some witnesses reported seeing snipers on rooftops.

Police were responding to an earlier statement given by a man who claimed that a murder had taken place at an address near Place Saint-Denis - and that the armed assailants were hiding at a second address.

Forest mayor Marc-Jean Ghyssels said a security perimeter was set up, adding: "It has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism."

Photo: Laurie Dieffembacq/Belga