Heavy-armed soldiers disappear from the streetscape of Belgium. Since the terrorist attacks in 2015, these have been surveying the streets, metro stations, airports and other vulnerable places.
The military are replaced by police officers, Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden said in an interview with the French-language newspaper Le Soir. At Brussels-Charleroi airport and in the European district of Brussels, the military have already left.
The rest will follow later. “On 1 April the other airports, stations and metros will be the turn. The embassies will follow in June, also in stages.” In the Jewish neighbourhood of Antwerp, the military remains for the time being.
After the Paris attacks in 2015, the military had been placed in visible places for fear of new attacks. A year later, there was an attack on Brussels Airport and a metro station.
According to the minister, the military are less needed. “The police can now handle the security themselves perfectly,” Verlinden assures.