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Saturday 25.03.2017 | Name days: Māra, Marita, Mārīte

Latvian in Brussels: everyone’s hiding in their homes

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBrussels is a ghost city at the moment – people are waiting for the current situation to be resolved by authorities, as the situation is described by European Commission trainee Maija Locane.

Maija notes that because of the security situation she is ‘forced to stay away’ from places where all the action takes place. On top of that, she cannot use public transport. It is also unknown when how the situation might develop in the next couple of days.

Locane says she reads up on the situation from local media and social networks. Her knowledge of French helps in this regard; otherwise she would have to turn to foreign news reports.

When asked if she feels worried, Maija said there is reason for concern – police raids are carried out regularly in the city: «Armed people were stationed at hotels, leisure centres, institutions and metro stations throughout the week. Now things have become even more intense. It’s unpleasant to be in a city where some people live with machine guns and explosives while being hunted by Belgian authorities and Islamic State alike,» – said Locane.

According to her, ‘everyone’s hiding’. «I don’t feel scared – I feel I’m in the dark. A ghost city, waiting for the situation to resolve,» – said Locane.

Brussels has been in a state of anti-terrorism operation for three days. The metro system and education institutions are closed while police search for one of the main suspects in the recent Paris attacks. «The operation is not over,» – said Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon in his interview to VRT.

Belgian police had previously detained 16 people suspected of terrorism.

The 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be behind the Paris attacks, remains on the loose. Authorities believe Abdeslam had taken part in the massacres in Paris, when Islamic terrorists killed 130 people. After that, authorities believe he returned to Belgium. Some media have reported that Abdeslam may have escaped to Germany.

EU and NATO institutions continue their investigation. While authorities are scouring the city for terrorists, residents are recommended to remain in their homes and cooperate with authorities.

Belgium has been put on terror alert level 3.

Nevertheless, no information regarding any specific threats has been reported as of yet. The only thing authorities have reported is that the manhunt continues for two terrorists. They are considered armed and extremely dangerous.

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