Belgian prosecutors say they have arrested 13 people in a series of raids across the country, saying the suspects are believed to have been members of an Islamic group planning attacks on police officers.
Officials told reporters Friday there is no apparent link to last week’s terror attacks in Paris. However, two suspects were arrested in France in addition to the 13 in Belgium.
Prosecutors said they found an assortment of automatic and small firearms, explosives and police uniforms in an apartment in the city of Verviers, close to the German border.
They said two gunmen were killed during the raids Thursday, but their identities have not yet been confirmed.
The suspects opened fire as police closed in. The gunfight lasted several minutes, filling the air with smoke, gunshots and sirens. No police were wounded.
Police carried out other searches in several other locations around Belgium, including Brussels.
Authorities believe some of the extremists had returned to Belgium from Syria.
While the latest arrests do not appear to be linked to the Paris attacks, Belgian police say a man they arrested earlier Thursday is suspected of supplying weapons to Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four people in a Paris kosher supermarket.
Officials have raised the terror threat in Belgium to the third of four levels.