Belgium arrests five suspects after crime lab blast

Belgium arrests five suspects after crime lab blast

Belgium arrests five suspects after crime lab blast

Belgian police officers secure a road near the Belgium's National Institute of Criminology after arsonists set fire to it in Brussels, Belgium August 29, 2016. REUTERS photo

Belgian police have arrested five suspects after a blast on Aug. 29 at the country’s national crime lab just north of Brussels caused major damage but no casualties, prosecutors said.

They said there was no immediate reason to believe there was any terror link - Belgium is still on high alert after deadly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-claimed attacks in March - and it could easily be a case of criminals trying to destroy evidence.

“Five people were arrested in the immediate neighborhood... They are currently being questioned to see if they had any role in the incident,” Ine Van Wymersch, a spokeswoman for the Brussels’ prosecutor’s office, told a press briefing.

“The possibility of a terrorist act is not confirmed,” Van Wymersch said in a separate statement.

“It goes without saying that several individuals may have wanted to destroy evidence... An investigation is underway and several lines of inquiry are being considered,” the statement said.

The blast happened in the early hours of Aug. 29 at the national criminology institute in Neder-Over-Hembeek, just north of Brussels.