Belgian capital Brussels has been placed on high terror alert in the wake of reports that it could be targeted for a “serious and imminent” terrorist attack.
A statement issued by the government warned the public to avoid crowded areas.
The city’s metro line has also been closed.
“The advice for the population is to avoid places where a lot of people come together, like shopping centres, concerts, events or public transport stations wherever possible,” a spokesman for the government’s crisis center, was quoted, as saying.
The recommendation came after the government increased its threat scale to “level four” following a meeting of ministers, police and the security services.
The government spokesman did not say what had prompted the new measures to be taken.
A statement appearing on the crisis centre’s website has called on local authorities to cancel large events, such as football matches, and to close the Brussels metro for the weekend as well has having a greater police and military presence on the city’s streets.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has offered a new update for its citizens traveling to Belgium, or already in the country.
“Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November and subsequent police raids in Belgium and France, the Belgian government has increased its national threat level to the top level, very serious, for the Brussels region, indicating that the threat of a terrorist attack is serious and imminent; people should avoid places where there is a high concentration of people,” the statement read.