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Belgium’s two nuclear plants to be guarded by anti-terrorist unit

world Updated: Sep 09, 2016 23:10 IST

The nuclear Belgian power plant of Tihange near Huy.(AFP File Photo)

Belgium’s two nuclear power plants will be guarded by a special armed anti-terrorist unit from early next year, a spokesperson for Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon said on Friday.

“We have decided to create a new police unit that will be in charge of surveillance of buildings such as embassies, courts and tribunals and nuclear plants,” the spokesperson told AFP.

The force, comprising around 1,660 armed police officers, will be deployed within the next few months.

Nuclear plants in Belgium were placed under guard by 140 military personnel as part of an anti-terrorist plan following the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

Belgium also temporarily boosted its security at nuclear plants after the March 22 attacks on Brussels’s airport and metro system.

In February, investigators probing the Paris attacks found video footage of a senior Belgian nuclear official at the property of a key suspect.

The reinforced security is “not a response to a concrete threat”, said a spokesperson for Engie Electrabel.

“It has been in the planning for months and is part of our continued improvement of security at our sites.”