World

Man held for 'driving at crowd' in Belgium; weapons found in car

ANTWERP, BELGIUM: Police in the northern Belgian city of Antwerp said yesterday they had detained a man who tried to enter the main pedestrianised shopping street in a car at high speed, adding that security in the city would be stepped up.

"At about 11am (6pm, Singapore time) a vehicle entered De Meir at high speed due to which pedestrians had to jump away," a police spokesman said, referring to the street name.

He added that the driver was arrested and additional police and military personnel had been deployed to the centre of Antwerp, Reuters reported.

"Different arms were found in the boot - bladed weapons, a riot gun (rifle) and a container of liquid that is still unidentifiable," a prosecutor's statement said.

CAUGHT

Antwerp police chief Serge Muyters said: "Our army colleagues spotted it and tried to bring the vehicle to a halt. But the driver broke free and drove through the red light towards the port quays.

"The suspect, a man of north African origin, was immediately arrested."

The federal prosecutor's office, which has taken over the investigation, named the suspect as Mohamed R, a 39-year-old resident of France.

An army disposal squad was sent to the scene.

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