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article imageExplosives found in Brussels, no sign Tour targeted: prosecutors

By AFP     Jul 8, 2019 in World

Belgian police are investigating the discovery of home-made explosives, knives and brass knuckles, but nothing immediately points to an attack plot, including against the Tour de France, prosecutors said Monday.

A worker found the arms on Saturday evening hidden by a stairway of a building in Anderlecht, a neighbourhood of the capital Brussels through which the tournament's cyclists raced at the weekend.

"At the current time, nothing suggests that these are explosives designed to commit a future attack," the Brussels prosecutor's office said in a statement.

"Nothing allows us to say that the Tour was being targeted," prosecutor's spokesman Denis Goeman told AFP.

"The theory of the discovery of an old cache of explosives is also being looked at," the prosecutor's office added.

The statement said investigators were alerted to a bag containing explosives, knives and brass knuckles at around 7:30 pm (5:30 pm) on Saturday.

Upon examination, the office said, they amounted to several "home-made" type explosives. No suspect has been identified in the case and an investigation continues, it added.

Belgium has been hit by a number of Islamist attacks, the worst being suicide bombings on March 22, 2016 at Brussels airport and a city metro station that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds of others.

Security was high for the Tour de France, an epic three-week cycling competition around France, which was launched from the cobbled streets of a festive Brussels on Saturday.

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