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Belgium uncovers plot to kill police as terror arrests sweep Europe

German police arrest men suspected of plotting violent attacks in Syria
A German police task-force guards a building targeted by an anti-terror raid on Friday morning (AFP)

Security forces across Europe launched large-scale anti-terror raids on Friday, with operations taking place in Belgium, France and Germany. 

Police in Belgium discovered weapons and police uniforms at a flat they raided on Thursday night, killing two suspects.

In France, there were reports on Friday afternoon of a hostage situation taking place at a post office in the town of Colombes just north-west of Paris.

In Belgium, Thursday night's raid in the eastern town of Verviers led to the death of two suspects - 13 people were also arrested in raids across the country, prosecutors said.

The discovery of police uniforms during the raid has led police to believe that they were the planned targets of a militant attack.

Police also found Kalashnikov assault rifles, explosives and communications equipment.

"The group was on the verge of carrying out terrorist attacks to kill police officers in public roads and in police stations," Belgian federal prosecutors' spokesman Eric Van der Sijpt told a news conference about the raids overnight.

The suspects had recently returned from fighting in Syria, the prosecutor said.

There is as of yet no indication that the suspects had links to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in and around Paris, which came to a head last Friday when dual hostage situations ended with four people killed at a hostage-taking in a kosher supermarket, as well as the deaths of all three gunmen.

On the outskirts of Paris this Friday, there were reports that a lone gunman armed with a Kalashnikov took at least three hostages at a post office in Colombes, just north-east of the capital.

The man later surrendered - police said he had taken over the post office in protest at a recent break-up with his partner.

Fears were high across the capital - a metro station in central Paris was evacuated and kept shut down for almost an hour amid suspicions of a bomb attack.

In Germany, hundreds of police raided sites across the capital Berlin on Friday morning, arresting two men suspected of planning a "violent act" in war-torn Syria.

The investigation had been ongoing for months, according to local news site Die Welt, and a police spokesperson said there was no evidence that the suspects had been planning an attack in Germany.

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