Belgian police shoot dead man suspected of terror links: Report

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgian police shot dead a man of Algerian origin suspected of terrorist links in a shoot-out on a motorway Tuesday, the Belga news agency reported, citing a spokesman for the federal prosecutor.

The shoot-out took place early afternoon on the motorway from Brussels to the southern city of Tournai as the police chased the man down, the agency reported.

The authorities had responded to two French requests for information about the 30-year-old man from France late last year, Belga reported. French investigators suspected he belonged to a criminal gang with terrorist ties.

The investigation showed that the man was buying arms and other equipment such as bullet-proof clothing and telescopic sights for guns.

Police also linked him to an armed robbery of a restaurant in Brussels last week, Belga said.

Police decided to move in and arrest him after receiving information that he was planning an attack.

Police pursued the man, who was travelling in a Nissan sports utility vehicle carrying French plates, local prosecutor Marie-Claude Maertens told Belga.

He refused repeated calls to stop before driving at the police and opening fire on them, at which point police fired back, fatally wounding him, she added.

A search later of his home in Anderlecht, a suburb of Brussels, revealed arms, ammunition and explosives, plus other equipment which Belga said the police would put on display on Wednesday.

For several hours during the search, police sealed off the road outside his home and evacuated residents while they checked for booby traps. They let people back into their homes later that evening, RTL-TVI television reported.

Police have also arrested a woman and were questioning her Tuesday night, Belga reported.

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