Brussels remains on its highest terror alert as the hunt continues for a fugitive suspect of the Paris attacks, who remains at large.
The streets in the normally-bustling Belgian capital are eerily quiet.
Brussels and its region have been placed on the maximum level of security alert, level 4. The rest of Belgium is on level 3.
Paris fugitive still at large
The alarm was raised when intelligence suggested a heavily-armed Salah Abdelslam had returned to the city following the attacks a week ago.
The 26-year-old is believed to be hiding in the area, possibly having assumed a new identity.
He is wanted in connection with last week’s attacks in Paris and is thought to be directly involved with the bombings at the Stade de France or the shootings at bars and restaurants in the north-east of the French capital.
Threat is “serious and imminent”
Describing the threat as “serious and imminent”, officials have advised the public to avoid crowded areas.
BFMTV (@BFMTV) 21 Novembre 2015
The metro system has been closed as have museums, cinemas and shopping malls.
Security officials will review the status of alert on Sunday.
The National Security Council will decide what measures to extend.
Even the city’s iconic Grand Place is deserted, a month before Christmas.
The country is holding its breath to find out if the blanket security measures will be extended into the working week.
In pictures – a deserted Brussels
Brussels has a vibrant food culture, but restaurants were looking for customers on Saturday night.
#Reportage L’assourdissante déprime d’un samedi soir à #Bruxelles https://t.co/cB6KGKG6JV par
thomas_casa</a> <a href="https://t.co/8jztN1IxRC">pic.twitter.com/8jztN1IxRC</a></p>— Le Soir (lesoir) 22 Novembre 2015
Brussels/Belgium security alert – The Knowledge
- Avoid crowded places likes concerts, public events, stations, airports, public transport and shopping areas
- Follow information directly from the police. Avoid relaying rumours
- Be vigilant
- Cooperate with security checks and controls