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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

Three gunmen in Belgian siege 'taken outside with their hands in the air'

The victim is understood to be safe and well.

 Special forces police prepare their equipment in Ghent.
Special forces police prepare their equipment in Ghent.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

Updated. 1.50 pm

THREE ARMED SUSPECTS have surrendered following an armed siege in the Belgian city of Ghent after taking a hostage in an apartment building.

AFP reports that the three suspects were “taken outside, with their hands in the air” by special armed police who had earlier surrounded the building.

Sky News is also reporting that the victim is now safe and well and the siege is now considered over.

Special armed police had set up a wide perimeter around the building after the siege started several hours ago in a working-class area of the northwestern, Flemish-speaking city.

“There is no indication that this is linked to terrorism, the Islamic State or what is happening at the moment in Sydney,” the prosecutor told AFP.

Belgium Siege Special forces police guard a street in Ghent. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The Belgian siege happened at the same time as a lone gunman keeps terrified staff and customers captive in a café in Australia’s largest city, brandishing an Islamic flag.

Belgian officials are saying that there are no indications that the Ghent siege was terror related.

It was earlier reported that there were four gunmen involved in the Belgium, the current indications are that three suspects have been arrested and it is unclear whether police are looking for another suspect.

Neighbours said the occupants of the apartment were “drug traffickers”, but Belgian authorities would only confirm that they suspected it was an isolated incident with no terror links.

Belgium Siege A member of the special forces police installs equipment on a van. Source: AP/Press Association Images

A person in the building, which is divided into several flats, saw the armed men and was able to leave before calling the police to alert them, a police spokesman said.

Additional reporting AFP and Rónán Duffy

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