Belgium soldiers patrol the Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015. (Photo: AP)
Belgium lowered the security threat level in Brussels on Thursday after nearly a week on maximum alert following the Islamic State attacks in Paris, a government minister said.
Confirming earlier reports, Kris Peeters, the economy minister, told public broadcaster VRT that the national threat assessment agency, made up of security experts and officials, had taken the decision. The government's national security council was meeting to discuss concrete measures to be taken.
The reduction to Level 3 - serious, a possible and probable threat - from Level 4 - a very serious, "imminent" threat - brings the capital into line with the rest of the country.
Immediately after the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, Belgium raised its security alert to Level 3 and a week later put Brussels onto maximum alert as police hunted a local suspect in the violence in France as well as accomplices who the government said might be planning similar attacks in the Belgian capital.
The suspect remains at large. Police have mounted a number of raids and searches over the past two weeks in Belgium, the most recent on Thursday, and have charged five people with terrorism offences linked to the Paris attacks.