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Brussels on lockdown; tweeting cat pics during raids

”Belgian police have made 16 arrests in anti-terror raids, but suspected Paris attacks gunman Salah Abdeslam remains at large, the authorities have said.”

“Some 22 raids were carried out Sunday 22 November 2015) across Brussels and Charleroi, the federal prosecutor’s spokesman said.”

“Brussels remains on the highest level of terror alert. Universities, schools and the metro system will stay closed on Monday.”

“No weapons or explosives were found during the searches on Sunday, spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt told a news conference.”

“Brussels has been on lockdown all weekend amid a manhunt for Abdeslam, who is suspected of being among the assailants who killed 130 people in Paris on Friday (13 November 2015).”

“Soldiers joined police officers on patrols in Brussels over the weekend. Many public spaces in the usually bustling capital were deserted, as people heeded official warnings to avoid crowds.”

Brussels lockdown: Belgian police arrest 16 in anti-terror raids (BBC)

“When, on Sunday evening, Belgian police asked citizens not to tweet about the armed operations that were being carried out around the country, anyone could have been excused for reacting with fear.”

“Belgian forces – searching for suspects in the aftermath of the Paris attacks – told citizens to stay indoors and not go near their windows for safety reasons.”

“They also appealed for social media silence about any police action users might witness – presumably to keep the suspects in the dark.”

“Instead of speculation about the sort of threat police might be reacting to, many people used the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag to post pictures of their pets.”

“After the all-clear was announced by officials – with the news of arrests – there was a sigh of relief and a message of gratitude.” 

“Belgian police later thanked the cats for their help.”


National emergency? Belgians respond to terror raids with cats (The Guardian)