Armed police shot a terror suspect at a Brussels tram station as they launched fresh raids in the Belgian capital in the wake of the suicide attacks on Tuesday.
Two explosions were heard at the start of the operation in the neighbourhood of Schaerbeek, north Brussels, after which local media reported that one man had been ‘neutralised’.
The police operation on Friday afternoon has been linked to an attack plot in France that was foiled by police in Paris on Thursday night when one man was arrested, French police sources said.
Several eyewitness videos show the incident unfolding at the tram stop in Schaerbeek on Friday afternoon.
Armed police officers can be seen hiding behind a car, and shooting a man holding a bag, who falls to the ground.
As the man lies at the tram stop, police approach, followed by a man dressed in an orange hoodie who appears to be calling for someone out of shot.
As the camera moves to include the tram stop, it shows a young child crouching by the side of the shot suspect.
The man in orange manages to convince the child to leave the suspect on the ground, and police initially back away.
Once the child is safe, another video, shot from a different angle, then shows armed officers running over to the suspect and dragging him away from the tram stop – forcing him to drop the bag.
Moments later, a bomb robot rolls in and lifts the rucksack, after which a member of a bomb squad arrives to inspect the bag.
The Mayor of Schaerbeek, Bernard Clerfayt, later confirmed that ‘a person was intercepted by police and suffered a slight leg injury.’
He added there had been several small explosions linked to bomb disposal work.
Sources at the scene told MailOnline a a man inside with explosives who may have been about to launch a suicide attack had been in the square.
It is thought two unmarked cars pulled upside a house on a street just of the square, by the Meiser place tram stop.
They are said to have fired two shots – one of which is understood to blown open the door.
A third explosion caused a moment of panic in the area, followed by the sound of sirens.
There is speculation that one of the explosions may have been a stun grenade. The entire square has been cordoned off, but the officers standing guard appear to be calm.
The police operation in Schaerbeek on Friday has been linked to the arrest of convicted ISIS recruiter Reda Kriket, 34, in the northern Paris suburb of Argenteuil on Thursday night.
Kriket, a 34-year-old Frenchman, had been in the ‘advances stages’ of planning an attack in France prior to his arrest, and was found with heavy weapons and explosives in his apartment.
A witness told how they heard ‘bomb’ go off close to the offices of the Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
Salah Eddine, 42, a hotel receptionist told MailOnline: ‘There was an explosion, a bomb, in the square over there, close to the offices of RTBF, the national broadcaster.
‘I lived just around the corner. I am married, we have a daughter. This is terrifying. It’s terrible, too much.’
An eye witness had described how she heard a bang and saw a man lying on the ground, Manon, 22, a university student, told MailOnline: ‘i was standing on the balcony at home by the square.
‘I heard a shot, like a bang and j looked down and i saw a man lying on the ground. I went back into the flat and I heard the found of breaking glass.
‘There were people running away. Then i heard the sirens and police started arriving. Later i saw a man with a mask and a gun. I think he was a policeman.’
A total of seven people were arrested in Belgium and Paris on Thursday night, in raids thought to be connected to Tuesday’s airport and Metro bombings.
Armed police swooped on properties in the Schaerbeek and Jette districts of Brussels, and arrested a total of six people.
At least one suspect in the suicide bombing attacks on Zaventem airport and a Metro station in central Brussels is at large, and it is unclear whether there were other accomplices.
German police have also arrested two more people with suspected links to the attackers while a new suspect in the Brussels plot, 28-year-old Syrian Naim al-Hamed, has also been identified.