Brussels police open fire on car in Molenbeek suburb
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Brussels police open fire on car in Molenbeek suburb

Belgian authorities say area, once home to numerous terrorists, sealed off after driver said he had explosives in vehicle

A police vehicle blocks a road in the Molenbeek suburb of Brussels, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
A police vehicle blocks a road in the Molenbeek suburb of Brussels, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

BRUSSELS — Brussels police opened fire on a car after a high-speed chase in the suburb of Molenbeek and the driver told officers there were explosives inside the vehicle.

Brussels prosecutor’s spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch told The Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon that police fired once at the car, which was involved in two collisions during the chase.

Van Wymersch said: “When they got the person out, he immediately claimed that there were explosives inside.”

She said the man was alone and no one had been injured.

Army bomb disposal experts were called in and police sealed off the area, locking a number of people in nearby shops as a precaution, Van Wymersch said.

A police officer speaks to members of the armed forces in the Molenbeek suburb of Brussels, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
A police officer speaks to members of the armed forces in the Molenbeek suburb of Brussels, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

Brussels police spokeswoman Dorothee Cattrysse said 400 to 500 people were being kept in the stores.

Brussels has been on high alert since 32 people were killed in 2016 suicide attacks. Many suspects linked to those attacks and the November 2015 massacre in Paris lived in or transited through Molenbeek.

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