Brussels ′March Against Fear′ cancelled over security concerns | News | DW | 26.03.2016

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Brussels 'March Against Fear' cancelled over security concerns

Following official warnings, organizers in Brussels have postponed a planned solidarity rally. European nations have boosted security since the Brussels bombings, with Germany and Belgium arresting several suspects.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon on Saturday urged people to refrain from participating in Sunday's planned "March Against Fear" rally, citing the current threat level, limited "police capacity" and the need to prioritize the investigation into the bombings, according to Belga news agency.

At a joint press conference with Jambon, Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur said authorities were stretched thin by ongoing investigations following Tuesday's attacks across Brussels that left more than 30 dead and hundreds injured.

"Let us allow the security services to do their work and that the march - which we, too, want to take part in - be delayed for several weeks," the mayor told reporters.

Following the press briefing, the rally's organizers announced the event's cancellation in a statement.

"The security of our citizens is an absolute priority," the organizers said.

"Consequently, we completely join the authorities in their proposal to postpone to a later date. We thus ask citizens not to come this Sunday to Brussels," the statement added.

The announcement comes as Belgium and other European countries ramp up security across the continent in the wake of Tuesday's attacks.

Security at stake

Belgian prosecutors charged three men on Saturday for involvement in a terrorist group. One of the men is believed to have participated in the planning of Tuesday's attacks, which were claimed by the self-styled "Islamic State" militant group.

In Germany, police arrested two men with suspected links to the suicide bombers in the Belgian capital last week.

Samir E., one of the suspects arrested during a raid in Düsseldorf, was reportedly deported from Turkey in mid-2015 with Ibrahim El Bakraoui, who is suspected of involvement in the attack at the Brussels airport, according to German news magazine "Der Spiegel."

Following the attacks, interior and justice ministers from EU member states called for increased intelligence sharing across the bloc to prevent a repeat of the attacks in Brussels and last November's attacks in Paris.

ls/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)