US embassy evacuated after Brussels bomb scare
BRUSSELS - Agence France-Presse
A bomb disposal expert inspects a parked car near the U.S. embassy in Brussels September 5, 2012. REUTERS photoThe US embassy and several Belgian government offices were evacuated Wednesday after police found a suspect vehicle nearby but they later lifted the alert after a search.
Police said a patrol noticed a suspicious vehicle around midday and called in the bomb squad, informing the US embassy which decided to evacuate staff as a precaution, including from the US mission to the EU.
"It is correct," spokesman Viktor Sadabras of the US mission to the EU said when asked about the evacuation.
Police said the US action was taken independently as a precaution while authorities ordered the evacuation of Belgian government offices in the area.
"There was nothing in the car, nothing suspect," police spokeswoman Ilse Van De Kerre said.
"Given the area, however, we did not want to take any risk and so the army bomb squad was called in," she added.
The alert disrupted traffic in central Brussels near the royal palace, an area that is home to many of the larger embassies.