Belgian authorities deny reports of arrest in Jewish museum shooting probe

May 27, 2014 18:46

On Saturday a lone gunman entered Brussels’ Jewish museum with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and opened fire, killing three people.

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Police personnel are seen at the site of a shooting in central Brussels, May 24, 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Belgian authorities are denying reports that they have arrested a suspect in the killing of three people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels over the weekend.

The Belgian news agency VTM reported on Tuesday that authorities were questioning a suspect who was arrested in connection with another case over the shooting. However, hours later, the DPA news agency quoted a Belgian official as saying that the report was false.

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Belgium and France have heightened security around Jewish sites, following attacks on Jews in both countries.

On Saturday a lone gunman entered Brussels’ Jewish museum with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and opened fire, killing three people, including two Israeli tourists. A fourth victim died on Monday, according to museum officials who spoke with CNN.

Dutch authorities said on Tuesday they were deploying more police officers at Jewish sites, including cultural centers, schools and synagogues

Stepping up security was a precaution and there were no indications of an immediate threat in the Netherlands, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice said.

Security was also ramped up in France, where President Francois Hollande said there was no doubt Sunday's killings of two Israelis and a French woman were motivated by anti-Semitism.

It was unclear how long the measure in the Netherlands would remain in force, but authorities were in regular contact with Jewish groups, a ministry spokesman said.

Government officials and Jewish bodies in Belgium and France have indicated that there has been a marked increase in security around Jewish sites since the attacks, with a heavy police presence around synagogues, community centers and schools.

Many Jewish leaders have called on European nations to do more in combating anti-Semitism while several prominent Israeli politicians, including the prime minister, have linked the attacks to what they say is increasing delegitimization of the Jewish state on the continent.

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