Sunday 26/05/2019 - 08:24 pm

Fire at Brussels criminology institute rattles nation

2016.08.29 06:01

 A fire Monday at Belgiums national criminology institute in Brussels was probably an arson attack aimed at destroying unidentified files, authorities said.

Prosecutors spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch said a car broke through institutes fence at about 2 a.m. local time, shortly before the fire began. She said there was no evidence of a bomb, as early media reports indicated, but that the investigation was continuing, the BBC reported.

Van Wymersch said the fire appeared to target a lab used where forensic tests of evidence from crime scenes are conducted.

"The location was not chosen randomly," she said. "Its an important site, that includes sensitive documents relating to current investigations."

No one was injured, but damage at the scene was extensive.

Institute CEO ​Jan De Kinder told the Belgian news site RTBF the building was not monitored by guards but does have surveillance cameras.

Five people were taken into custody for questioning and released, RTBF said. No charges were immediately filed.

Brussels has been on edge since a terror attack March 22 that killed 32 people and wounded more than 300. Three attackers also died in the twin assaults at theBrussels airport and metro system. About a dozen people have been arrested on various charges related to the attacks.

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