Since the terrorist attacks in 2015, heavily armed military personnel have been guarding metro stations, airports and other vulnerable buildings and places in Belgium, but after six years they transfer that task to the police.

The military has already left the airport of Brussels-Charleroi and the European Quarter of Brussels, Minister Annelies Verlinden (Internal Affairs) says in the newspaper

Le Soir


"On April 1, it will be the turn of the other airports, stations and metros. The embassies will follow in June, also in phases."

The soldiers remain present the longest in the Jewish neighborhood of Antwerp.

Heavily armed soldiers have been

a familiar sight on the street

since the attacks on the editorial office of the French satirical magazine

Charlie Hebdo

in Paris in 2015.

The threat was great at the time and the Belgian police did not have the manpower to guard all possible targets of terrorists.

The need was further underlined by the attacks on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris later that year and those on Brussels airport and a metro station in that city in 2016.

The police are now perfectly able to handle the security themselves, assures Verlinden.

The army had wanted to be able to devote itself to its own work for some time.