European Parliament Evacuated Over Suspected Car Bomb

Three of the group of buildings that form part of the EU Parliament in Brussels had to be evacuated by Belgian police for several hours Monday after a bomb scare. After police and explosives experts inspected the scene, it turned out to be a false alarm.

According to RT News, after a suspicious vehicle was seen parked on Montoyer Street, the buildings were evacuated as a “precautionary measure.” The evacuation was called at 11 a.m. local time, and police and military explosives experts were immediately called to the site.

The street was completely closed off, and as can be seen from images tweeted from the scene, a robot was sent in to investigate the area.

According to a spokesperson for the European Parliament, an inspection of the car revealed no explosives. Staff were allowed to return to their offices at approximately 1:30 p.m.

The European Parliament buildings affected by the evacuation during the bomb scare are used mainly for administrative purposes and included the legislature’s visitor center, the Parliamentarium, and human resources offices, according to spokeswoman Marjory van den Broeke. Apparently the main parliament building was unaffected.

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According to Haaretz, another suspicious vehicle was seen close to the U.S. embassy in Brussels and an alarm was sounded. However, that car was later found to contain no dangerous items, and the alarm was lifted shortly afterwards.

Brussels has been on high alert since mid-January when a series of raids uncovered a terrorist cell which was apparently on the verge of launching an attack. In one raid in eastern Belgium, two suspects were killed and one arrested.

In other terrorist-related news in Europe, the Inquisitr recently reported that an 8-year-old child was brought in for questioning in Nice, France, after saying the Charlie Hebdo journalists “got what they deserved.”

[Image: CC BY-NC 2.0 Robin Hamman]