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Four Officers Wounded During Anti-Terror Raid in Belgium Linked to Paris Attacks

French and Belgian authorities are engaged in a standoff with at least two suspects in a suburb south of Brussels.

by Sarah Francoise
Mar 15 2016, 2:55pm

La polizia durante un'operazione antiterrorismo a Bruxelles. [Foto d'archivio/via Flickr]

Four police officers were wounded when they came under fire during a joint anti-terror raid by Belgian and French authorities south of Brussels on Tuesday, an operation that was reportedly linked to the Paris attacks last November.

The federal prosecutors office in Belgium confirmed that one of the suspects has been killed, and said police are in the process of searching a house where he was holed up, according to Belgian broadcaster RBTF.

Earlier reports by Belgian daily Le Soir indicated that one of the suspects was barricaded inside the apartment where the shooting took place, perhaps armed with a Kalashnikov. Another attacker was believed to be hiding nearby in a vacant lot.

The federal prosecutor's office has said that four officers were injured in the shooting, which took place as officers searched an apartment they believed to be empty, in connection with the attacks last November 13 in Paris that left 130 people dead.

The area around the raid, near a north-south railway that links Paris and Amsterdam, as well as an Audi car factory, was reportedly sealed off. A police helicopter flew overhead. According to RTBF, police evacuated children from one of the nearby schools.

Belgian security forces are still hunting suspects and associates of Brussels-based militants involved in the Paris attacks. One of the prime suspects — 26-year-old Frenchman Salah Abdeslam from Brussels — is still on the run. He left Paris shortly after his brother killed himself during a suicide attack.

France's BFMTV cited a judicial source as saying operation was not linked to Abdeslam, although it is related to the ongoing investigation into the Paris attacks. French news agency AFP also said Salah was not the target of the raid.

Belgian authorities currently have 10 people in custody who were arrested in the months after the attacks.

This is a breaking news story, please check back for updates.