'Suspect car' sparks bomb scare and evacuation of European Parliament buildings

A man who was found with a gun and a chainsaw in his car has been detained by police

Belgian police have detained a man near the European Parliament who was found to have a gun and a chainsaw in his car, triggering a major evacuation of Parliament buildings in Brussels this morning. 

Police ordered the evacuation of three Parliament offices and others buildings on Rue Montoyer after the discovery of a suspect car around 11 am this morning, blocking off the road completely, in what appeared at the time to be a bomb scare.

Police have since revealed they have detained a Slovakian man dressed in camouflage near the European Parliament and found a gun and chainsaw in his car. The man told police officers that he wanted to meet the European president.

A spokesperson for the European Parliament told The Independent  earlier on Monday that the evacuation was a “precautionary measure” to allow police to examine and remove the suspect car.

The three Parliament buildings that were evacuated are largely used for administrative purposes, housing the Parliament’s human resources, communication and training departments, the spokesperson added.

Additional reporting by Reuters News Agency

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