No reduction in military presence on Belgian streets

epa05039869 Soldiers patrol in Grand Place square following the terror alert level being raised to 4/4, in Brussels, Belgium, 24 November 2015. Belgium raised the alert status to maximum because of a 'serious and imminent' threat of an attack. The Metro line remains closed and all Belgian school are closed. The Belgian government said it had concrete evidence of a planned terrorist attack that would have employed weapons and explosives. EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

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Belgium’s National Security Council has rejected an army request to reduce the maximum number of military personnel deployed in major Belgian cities under Operation Vigilant Guardian (OVG) to back up the federal police.

The Council’s decision, handed down on this week, means the army will still be called upon to deploy up to 550 persons, the existing limit, although the actual number of boots on the ground is lower.

The Chief of Staff of Defence has been calling for months for a reduction of the number of military personnel deployed in the internal security operation, begun close to five years ago and extended on a monthly basis, to enable the units to focus more to their primary tasks.

Via Brussels Times

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