No explosives found after Brussels scare

Hortense de Roffignac
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Armed forces on patrol in Molenbeek where a bomb squad was called in following a police pursuit.

A Belgian bomb squad found no explosives after a man who claimed to be carrying a bomb in his car was stopped by police, Brussels prosecutors said, adding there was no evidence he was plotting an attack.

Tuesday's bomb scare was in the district of Molenbeek, a poor area with a large Moroccan Muslim population that was home to the Islamic State members who attacked Paris in November 2015.

"It's a mentally unstable person," a spokeswoman for prosecutors Ine van Wymersch told Reuters. "The military did not find any explosive in his vehicle."

She said that the suspect was from Rwanda and was not known to have a police record.

He was detained after leading police on a chase, speeding through a red light, until they fired a shot at the wheels of the car to slow him.

"When the police arrested him, he claimed to have explosives so not to take any risk, the army has been called in to check," van Wymersch said.

Police cordoned off the area and Reuters witnesses on the scene heard two controlled explosions.