Four Armed Hostage-Takers Storm Apartment in Belgium: Police

Belgian Police Throw Cordon Around Ghent Hostage Scene 0:32

Police surrounded a building in western Belgium on Monday after four armed hostage-takers stormed an apartment. It was not yet clear how many hostages were being held, Ghent police spokesman Manuel Gonzalez told NBC News.

By mid-morning a major police operation was keeping bystanders away from the scene in the working-class neighborhood in Ghent. A spokeswoman for prosecutors told Reuters that there was "no indication that there is a link to terrorism." The incident occurred as a suspected Islamist held several hostages at a cafe in Sydney, Australia.

Image: Special forces police prepare their equipment in Ghent, western Belgium
Special forces police prepare their equipment in Ghent, western Belgium, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Four armed men have entered an apartment, and police have blocked off a wide perimeter around the area. Police said Monday that three hours after the men entered the apartment it was still unclear whether they had taken any hostages. Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP


- Laura Saravia and F. Brinley Bruton

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.