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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.

Special forces police prepare their equipment near the scene where four armed hostage-takers stormed an apartment in Ghent on Monday.Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP


- Laura Saravia and F. Brinley Bruton

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.