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Ghent hostage 'safe and well' after apartment siege

A man believed to have been held hostage by four gunmen in western Ghent is reportedly "safe and well" after armed police stormed the apartment where he was being held.

Belgium's state prosecutors confirmed the safety of the man and said three other men had been detained after the siege, Reuters reports.

Belgian police officers and special forces stand at the entrance of a building, where four gunmen were believed to have taken a man hostage, in Ghent Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

A spokeswoman for state prosecutors said: "Three men have been taken away though there were no weapons found. The earlier reports were of four men with kalashnikovs."

She added: "It's not entirely clear whether someone was in fact taken hostage."

Officials confirm man taken hostage in Ghent

Police seal off area around the scene Credit: APTN

Belgium's state prosecution service have confirmed a man has been taken hostage in an apartment in Ghent.

A goggle map image of Ghent Credit: Google

The apartment block was sealed off earlier this morning after four armed men were seen to enter the building but police have said it is still unclear what the intention of the gunmen is.

A spokeswoman for the state prosecution service said: "For the time being we have no indication that there is a link to terrorism."

Police officers at the scene Credit: APTN

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Police seal off area after armed men enter Ghent flat

An area around an apartment in Ghent, Belgium, has been sealed off by police after four armed men were seen to enter the building.

Police said it is still unclear what the intention of the gunmen was and that they had no more information available about them or whether they had taken hostages, according to Associated Press reports.

Burned out vehicles left after fiery clashes in Brussels

Burned out and defaced vehicles and rubbish-strewn streets have been left in central Brussels after violent clashes erupted as more than 100,000 protesters marched against austerity measures.

A burned out and overturned vehicle is seen after clashes between demonstrators and riot police in central Brussels. Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman
Rubbish was strewn on the ground around the written-off vehicles after fiery crashes in the Belgian capital. Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman
Protesters, including many dockers, clashed with riot police after the peaceful march of more than 100,000 turned violent. Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Fiery clashes in Brussels as 100,000 march against cuts

Vehicles have been overturned and set alight as a peaceful anti-austerity demonstration through Brussels involving more than 100,000 protesters erupted into violence.

Riot police fired water cannons to repel the demonstrators, who had taken to the streets in opposition to cuts introduced by the new Belgian government.

Vehicles were set on fire as the massive anti-austerity demonstrations, involving dockworkers, metalworkers and students, turned violent. Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir
Green smoke bombs were among the objects hurled at riot police during clashes in the centre of the city. Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman
Weekly strikes are planned across Belgium's regions from later in the month before a national walk-out on December 15 in opposition to the cuts worth £8.6 billion. Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman

Duke pays tribute to 'courageous' Belgians during WW1

The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to the Belgian people for their "courageous resistance" in the First World War, as he gave a speech in Liege marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the war.

He said: "Among the very first victims [of WW1] were the people of Belgium whose resistance was as gallant as their suffering was great.

"The magnificent war memorial where we gather today honours the city of Liege and its people for their courageous resistance in 1914.

"The memorial and this ceremony also honours all Belgians who fought, suffered and died in the Great War".

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Duke and Duchess attend WW1 event in Belgium

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are attending a commemorative First World War ceremony in Liege, Belgium.

The event is marking the 1914 invasion of neutral Belgium, which led to Britain declaring war on Germany.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Liege. Credit: EBU
The ceremony is part of the commemorations for the First World War. Credit: EBU
Events are being held across Europe today to mark the 100th anniversary of WW1. Credit: EBU

Brussels shooting suspect carried militant group's flag

The man arrested in France on suspicion of killing three people at Brussels' Jewish Museum has been carrying a Kalashnikov wrapped in a flag with the inscriptions of a militant Islamist group, prosecutors said.

Mehdi Nemmouche, carried the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an ultra-conservative militant group reconstituted from an earlier incarnation of al Qaeda and active in Syria and Iraq.

The 29-year-old Frenchman is said to have returned recently from fighting with Islamist militant rebels in Syria, prosecutors said.

Jewish Museum suspect 'admits to killings' in a video

The 29-year-old Frenchman arrested over the fatal shooting of three people at Brussels' Jewish Museum, has admitted to the killings, authorities said.

Mehdi Nemmouche is said to have admitted to the shooting in a video recording he was carrying while arrested in France.

"(In the video) he states that he committed the attack in Brussels against the Jews," Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said at a press conference.

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