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Police detained a potential suspect around the City 2 shopping centre, but later said the man had been wearing a fake suicide vest.
“No bomb has so far been found. The suicide vest found on a suspect was fake,” the Brussels prosecutor’s office said.
A spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor said a military bomb disposal team had been sent to the scene following the man’s arrest.
The alert triggered a meeting between Prime Minister Charles Michel and Belgium’s crisis centre, which coordinates security measures.
Belgium has been living under a heightened threat level since the November 13 attacks in Paris, which were perpetrated in part by Belgian nationals and men who had lived in Brussels.
On March 22, attacks on the Brussels subway and airport killed 32 people.