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Belgium arrests man trying to speed down shopping street; weapons found in car

A forensics expert next to the car which had entered the main pedestrian shopping street in the city at high speed, in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 23, 2017.
A forensics expert next to the car which had entered the main pedestrian shopping street in the city at high speed, in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 23, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS • Police in the northern Belgian city of Antwerp said yesterday that they had detained a man who tried to enter the main pedestrianised shopping street in a car at high speed.

The incident occurred late in the morning.

A police spokesman said the driver was later arrested.

He was identified as a French national.

"A vehicle with French plates has tried to drive at high speed into the Meir (shopping street)," Antwerp police chief Serge Muyters told a news conference.

The federal prosecutor's office, in a statement, named the suspect as Mohamed R., born on May 8, 1977, of French nationality and a resident of France.

Security forces found a rifle as well as bladed weapons in the car, prosecutors said.

A rapid intervention force from Antwerp police was able to stop the car, prosecutors said in the statement.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'Belgium arrests man trying to speed down shopping street; weapons found in car'. Print Edition | Subscribe