Anti-terror raids, riots take place in Brussels

Soccer hooligans rioted at a memorial in Brussels, and police took four more people into custody following raids in the city

Armed British police officers stand guard after Eurostar services were suspended on the Brussels route because of the attacks in Belgium.
Armed British police officers stand guard after Eurostar services were suspended on the Brussels route because of the attacks in Belgium, at St Pancras international railway station in London, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Authorities in Europe and beyond have tightened security at airports, on subways, at the borders and on city streets after deadly attacks Tuesday on the Brussels airport and its subway system. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

BRUSSELS (AP) – There were additional anti-terror raids Sunday in Belgium, with four more people in custody after 13 raids in Brussels and two other cities.

Federal prosecutors say the raids were linked to a “federal case regarding terrorism,” but they’re not specifying whether it had any links to last week’s attacks. A judge will decide later whether the four will remain in custody.

More than 300 soccer hooligans clad in black clashed with riot police after rallying in central Brussels where a temporary shrine was made for victims of Tuesday’s attacks.

Police Commissioner Christian De Coninck said Sunday that “we had 340 hooligans from different football clubs who came to Brussels and we knew for sure that they would create some trouble.”

Riot police backed by water cannon surrounded the group, whose members held a banner denouncing the Islamic State group that claimed responsibility for the bombings, and forced them toward a nearby train station.

Chairs, trash cans and other objects were thrown during the chase.

De Coninck said “it was a very difficult police operation because lots of families with kids were here.”

He said around 10 people were arrested and that two police officers were injured.

The country’s interior minister today conceded that decades of neglect had hampered the government’s response to violent extremism. He says the government has invested $670 million into police and security services over the past two years, but that Belgium’s justice system and security services are still lagging behind.

On Belgian TV, he acknowledged that there had been “errors” by security services ahead of last week’s suicide bombings.

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