A car bomb explosion at Brussels Institute of Criminology in a northern suburb of Belgium’s capital has caused heavy damage to the building. Two suspects, driving the car, rammed through the gates and detonated a bomb near the institute’s laboratories early Monday morning, state broadcaster RTBF reported.
Local media said there was no one in the building and nobody was injured despite the significant damage and fire at the site’s laboratories. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said the explosion was extremely powerful which caused windows of the lab to be blown out dozens of meters away.
The official said the explosion had a “criminal origin.” Police cordoned off the site for investigation and authorities set up a “crisis center.” The criminology institute located in Neder-Over-Heembeek is linked to the judiciary and carries out forensic analysis for criminal cases.
Belgian police have arrested five suspects in connection with the blast. “Five people were arrested in the immediate neighborhood… They are currently being questioned to see if they had any role in the incident,” Ine Van Wymersch, a spokeswoman for the Brussels’ prosecutor’s office, told a press briefing.
Belgium has been on high security alert since a March 22 attack by Daesh terrorists on the Brussels airport and subway killed 32 people. The Takfiri terrorist group, which has been waging wars mainly in Iraq and Syria, is said to have terrorist cells spread across the globe.
The perpetrators in the Brussels bombing in March belonged to an extremist terrorist cell which had been involved in the November 2015 Paris attacks.
The bombings were the deadliest act of terrorism in Belgium’s history. The Belgian government declared three days of national mourning following the incident.