Explosions heard and man "neutralised" during latest Brussels police raid

US Secretary of State John Kerry has visited Brussels to show solidarity with the people of Belgium

Explosions heard and man "neutralised" during latest Brussels police raid

File photo. Image: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/Press Association Images

Explosions have been heard during an anti-terror operation by armed police in Brussels that has led to a suspect being "neutralised".

The blast in the suburb of Schaerbeek follows a series of raids overnight by the security forces which led to several arrests, following the deadly attacks in the Belgium capital.

It is the same district where police found explosives and an Islamic State flag earlier this week in a flat believed to have been used by the suicide bombers, who carried out Tuesday's atrocities.

The attacks left 31 people dead and 270 injured.

Newstalk.com reporter Shona Murray spoke to Lunchtime about the latest raid, saying altogether the number of people who have been arrested has risen to ten:

Belgian prosecutors said arrests were made during overnight raids in central Brussels, and the neighbourhoods of Jette, Forest and Schaerbeek, where police found explosives and an Islamic State flag earlier this week in a flat believed to have been used by the suicide bombers.

Spokesman Eric van der Sypt said three of the suspects were detained "outside the door of the federal prosecutor's office".

A manhunt has been under way for two suspects pictured with the suicide bombers shortly before the Tuesday attacks and are believed to be at large.

One of the men was caught on CCTV carrying a large bag and walking with attacker Khalid El Bakraoui moments before the explosion at the metro station.

Another of the suspected killers, dubbed "the man in white", was pictured at Zaventem Airport with Najim Laachraoui and Khalid's brother Ibrahim before they blew themselves up.

It is not known if they are among those arrested in the latest raids.

Germany has also arrested two suspects linked to the Brussels bombers, according to Der Spiegel.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry has visited Brussels to show solidarity with the people of Belgium.

Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel. Image: Andrew Harnik / AP/Press Association Images

Condemning the "heinous acts of terrorism", he said: "Those lives torn apart this week were no combatants in any kind of conflict.

"They posed no threat, they wished no one any harm. They were simply going about their lives."

The sole aim of the terrorists "was to kill and maim", he said.

Referring to IS as Daesh, Mr Kerry said: "The very reason that Daesh is resorting to actions outside of the Middle East, is that its fantasy of a caliphate is collapsing before their eyes."

On Thursday, French police arrested a terror suspect who was in the "advanced stages" of a plot to attack the country.

Raids at an apartment in the northern Parisian suburb of Argenteuil followed, and bomb squads were in attendance.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said: "The individual questioned, a French national, is suspected of high-level involvement in this plan.

"He was part of a terrorist network that planned to strike France."

He added that a "painstaking" investigation had led officials to conclude that there were no tangible links to the attacks in Paris or Brussels at this stage.

As the raids unfolded, an unnamed local told Le Parisien: "Given the context everybody is really frightened. My son has already told me that he doesn't want to school in the morning."

The police's operation involved specialist officers who concealed their faces with balaclavas.