UPDATED: A bomb has exploded at the Brussels Institute of Criminology, in a suburb of Brussels, Belgium. The building was empty and there are no reports of casualties or fatalities.
Five people, whose identities have not been unveiled have been arrested, near the laboratories. The Belgian prosecutor’s office said the fire was likely started to destroy forensic evidence, according to the AFP.
“The location was not chosen randomly (…) It’s an important site, that includes sensitive documents relating to current investigations,” said Van Wymersch, the prosecutor’s spokesperson.
The Institute, which is attached to Belgium’s federal justice department, is understood to have been helping the police and security services with their enquiries into the March bombings.
According to reports a car rammed through three security fences at approximately 2am local time on Monday morning. That caused a significant fire at the building. Police were called at 3am and have sealed off a wide area around the building.
Belgium remains on maximum security alert since the trio of deadly bombings in March at Brussels airport and in the city’s Metro system. Those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
More to come