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Brussels transport strike goes on after security plan rejected

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Brussels transport strike goes on after security plan rejected


Public transport in Brussels has been at a standstill for the fourth consecutive day after unions rejected as inadequate improved security measures.

The walkout followed the death of a transport inspector last weekend, attacked as he investigated an accident.

The government had called for a return to work after announcing that 400 extra police officers would be deployed in the Belgian capital from June, as well as 50 new security agents for public transport.

“I want to alter the law on custody, in particular with regard to the powers of security agents in public transport, to make sure that they can control identity cards, which wasn’t the case, to make sure that when they stop someone because of uncivil behaviour or an offence, that they don’t have to release him after 30 minutes if the police haven’t arrived,” said Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet.

Bus and metro services will only run again from Wednesday during the day, at the earliest.

In the weekend assault, the inspector, 56-year-old Iliaz Tahiraj was punched in the face and died in hospital.

A 28-year-old man later gave himself up to police and is in custody.

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