Belgian PM lowers Brussels alert level, says threat still serious

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Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has lowered the threat level for Brussels from “imminent” to “serious”, opening the way for the launching of the Christmas market, a huge attraction in the capital. Nathan Frandino reports.

Belgian PM lowers Brussels alert level, says threat still serious

After almost a week, the threat to Brussels is no longer very serious and imminent — but it is still serious

A new assessment by Belgium’s threat analysis co-ordination body known OCAM has led officials to downgrade the threat level from four to three.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER, CHARLES MICHEL, SAYING:

“To be very clear and precise, level three according to the law means that the threat is possible and real. The reasons behind OCAM bringing the level from level four to level three leads us to believe that the threat remains serious but that, according to the various indications, the imminent nature of the threat is no longer present in the same manner.”

The threat level alert was launched when officials began searching for one of the suspects in the Paris attacks.

That suspect was identified as Sala h Abdeslam, who remains at large.

To keep the city safe, Michel says the soldiers would remain in Brussels.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER, CHARLES MICHEL, SAYING:

“The crisis center proposes, and we are following this proposal, a maintenance of the presence of the police and military, a presence which will be adapted but in a progressive way.”

The lowering of the threat level means the city’s famous Christmas market would go ahead as planned… but this time with extra police and security.

Tags : Serious, still, threat, says, level, alert, brussels, Lowers, Belgian

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