Police foil potential attack in Belgium

Police have recovered knives, a shotgun and a gas canister from a vehicle that attempted to drive down a busy pedestrianised street "at high speeds"

Police foil potential attack in Belgium

File Photo, De Meir, Antwerp, 23-02-2010

Security levels have been raised in the Belgian port of Antwerp after a man attempted to drive a car “at high speed” into a pedestrianised shopping street.

Police in the northern city said they had detained a man and seized a French-registered vehicle.

“At about 11 a.m. this morning a vehicle entered De Meir at high speed due to which pedestrians had to jump away," a police spokesman told a news conference.

De Meir is in the largest and busiest shopping street in the city.

The federal prosecutor’s office said the car was intercepted at the port docks and a Frenchman living in France was arrested.

Police recovered knives, a shotgun and a gas canister “with an unknown liquid” from the vehicle.

Additional police and military personnel had been deployed to the town centre, "in places where people normally gather."

Prime Minister Charles Michel said "we are monitoring the situation very closely. Our security services have done exemplary work." 

The incident occurred the day after the nation marked the anniversary of the March 22nd 2016 Brussels attacks in which 32 people were killed.