November 26, 2015 / 2:21 PM / 2 years ago

Chemical teams attend Brussels mosque after powder found

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Firecrews and decontamination teams attended a major mosque in Brussels close to the European Union headquarters on Thursday after a suspect powder was found that the fire service said was feared to be anthrax.

Belgian firefighters and an expert investigate outside the Grand Mosque in Brussels, Belgium November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Reuters journalists saw about a dozen emergency vehicles, including police, outside the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium, a large Saudi-established institution including a mosque situated 200 meters from the European Commission.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said it had taken a call from the mosque from a person saying they believed that they had found anthrax powder, prompting the deployment of specialist crews. There was no immediate word on what the substance was.

Belgian media said envelopes of white powder were found.

Since the Paris attacks on Nov. 13 by French and Belgian Islamic State militants, there have been reports of threats against mosques used by Belgium’s half million Muslims, among them some from an unknown group calling itself Christian State.

Reporting by Miranda Alexander-Webber; Writing by Alastair Macdonald

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