[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Belgium police hold 17 in 'plot'
Belgium police (file picture)
The raids follow a two-year investigation
Seventeen people have been arrested in Belgium for allegedly planning attacks aimed at "destabilising" the country's institutions, Belgian prosecutors say.

Police raided army barracks and soldiers' homes across the country.

The raids were part of a two-year investigation into extreme-right activists believed to be operating inside the military.

Police seized weapons and a home-made bomb during raids in East Flanders, Limburg and Antwerp.

Searches were carried out simultaneously in five barracks and at 18 private addresses in a wide-ranging operation, Belgian radio reported.

Those arrested were mainly "soldiers and people with an extreme-right ideology who clearly express themselves through racism, xenophobia, Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism", the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The main suspect is a serving military man "who intended to put terrorist ideas into practice," it added.

Belgium has seen an increase in apparently race-related crimes and the country's far-right, anti-immigrant Vlaams Belang party (or Flemish Interest) has enjoyed increasing electoral support.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific