Report: Two killed in Belgian anti-terror operation

[Breaking news update, 2:32 p.m.]

The group that Belgian authorities confronted Thursday was about to carry out major terrorist attacks in Belgium imminently, spokesman for the Belgian Federal Prosecutor Eric van der Sypt said. Two suspects were killed in the operation.

[Original story, published 1:54 p.m.]

Two people were killed Thursday in an anti-terrorism operation in the eastern Belgian city of Verviers, CNN affiliate VTM News reported.

The group is believed to have links to ISIS and to have been planning attacks in Belgium, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.

Federal Belgian police took at least one suspect into custody near a train station, VTM News said. Further details weren’t immediately available.

Verviers is about 69 miles (111 kilometers) east-southeast of Brussels and 200 miles (322 kilometers) northeast of Paris.

The anti-terrorism raid comes amid heightened alerts in Europe after this month’s attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Anti-terrorism operations were underway in other cities, a senior Belgian counter-terrorism official told Cruickshank.

According to the official, the raid was against a group that had traveled to Syria and was instructed by ISIS to carry out attacks in Belgium and Europe.

The attacks were ordered in retaliation for U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Cruickshank said, citing the Belgian official.

The group was under surveillance by Belgian authorities, and there came a moment Thursday when Belgian forces decided it was time to conduct the raid, the official said.

A video posted on YouTube showed part of the operation — shouts and small-arms fire can be heard.

Officials: Two killed in Belgian anti-terror operation
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