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No explosives found in car halted by Brussels police

Belgian prosecutors said that no explosives were found in a car stopped by police fire after a high-speed chase in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek.

"Nothing suspicious was found in the vehicle," said Ine Van Wymersch, spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor's office.

The car was chased by police after driving through a red light and was involved in two collisions until it was finally brought to a halt, she said. A witness, Mohamed Al Mossawi, told The Associated Press that the car's tyres were shot out by police. Ms Van Wymersch said only one shot was fired.

"When the person got out, he immediately claimed that there were explosives inside," Ms Van Wymersch said.

She declined to identify the suspect, but said he was a Rwandan national born in 1981 who was not previously known to police.

A few hundred people were kept in nearby shops as a precaution while heavily protected army bomb disposal experts were called in to assess the situation.

Unprotected police and forensic experts were later at the scene, taking objects from the car and examining them.

The all-clear was given just over three hours after the car was stopped. No one was injured.

Brussels has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people in attacks on the city's airport and subway on March 22 2016. Many suspects linked to those attacks and the November 2015 massacre in Paris lived in or travelled through Molenbeek.

AP

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