Brussels, the capital of Belgium, was shut down for a few days. The metro wasn’t running, and schools were closed. People were advised to stay away from shopping malls, sports games, concerts, and other public events. The country’s soldiers and police were patrolling the streets and landmarks of the city. This is because the government of Belgium believed that there might be a threat to the city. The police were also looking for some people who were involved in a series of attacks that took place earlier this month in Paris, the capital of France.
Some people with guns and bombs attacked a few places in Paris on November 13. Over a hundred were killed and more were wounded. The attacks were carried out by folks belonging to a group called the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS).
The IS has been taking over parts of Syria and Iraq, and now controls large areas of the two nations. One of the aims of the group is to establish a state for Muslim people where Islamic law is followed. The group’s leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The IS came out of another group in Iraq. It has become powerful. It is well-funded. The IS is known for being strict, harsh, and brutal. The group has killed many people, including many Muslims who don’t agree with its philosophy. Over the last one month, it has claimed to have staged attacks in France, Lebanon, and Egypt. Some people involved in carrying out the November 13 attacks in Paris were based out of Brussels, and the police in Belgium’s capital has been looking for them.
When the shutdown in Brussels started, the government of Belgium requested its citizens to not post information on social media sites about where the policemen were or what operations they were conducting in the city. The citizens of the city started posting images of cats. The police department responded with humor by thanking its citizens and posting an image of cat food.
Image Credits: https://twitter.com/PolFed_presse for the cat food image, https://twitter.com/jaycelight for the cat image
Sources: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R43612.pdf, BBC, https://twitter.com/PolFed_presse, http://www.belgium.be, http://www.wsj.com