Belgian PM urges people to respect security checks

Belgium's Prime Minister reiterated the call for Belgians to avoid public places like sports and concerts.

Members of French police special forces in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis city center, on 18 November, 2015, as French Police special forces raid an appartment, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. At least one person was killed in an apartment targeted in the operation aimed at the suspected mastermind of the attacks, Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and police had been wounded in the shootout. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel says people living in Brussels must respect security checks as the underground transport system has been shut down until Sunday.

The prime minister has reiterated the call for Belgians to avoid public places like sports and concerts as Brussels has raised its alert level to the maximum in the capital.

The rest of country will maintain its counter terrorism level.

This comes after a series of raids in Paris and Belgium as officials are working to identify and take down the network of terrorists behind last Friday's carnage in Paris.

The Belgian district of Molenbeck has been linked to several terrorism groups.

Michel says the high alert is based on precise information on the attacks risk.

"This means that we recommend that population to respect all the security advice that is made throughout the country."

BELGIUM TO REVIEW SECURITY STATUS SUNDAY AFTERNOON

The Belgian government will review the security situation in Brussels on Sunday afternoon after raising the alert level to the maximum "four" on Saturday, Michel told a news conference.

He said that the committee responsible for assessing the level of threat would sit again on Sunday morning and the government would review its measures on Sunday afternoon.

The capital's metro system, for example, would remain closed until then.

He declined to give the reason why the authorities raised the alert level, closing all metro stations, cancelling soccer matches for the weekend and asking citizens to avoid crowded public places.