Hours after a terrorist took 40 people hostage at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in central Sydney, Belgium dealt with its own hostage crisis Monday morning.
At around 10 a.m. four armed men invaded an apartment in the northwestern city of Ghent, taking a hostage, and leading to a tense standoff with police.
Police were called after the four were were seen entering an apartment building in the Dampoort district of the city.
Upon receipt of the first reports, special units of Federal police arrived on the scene, where they sealed off the street. Approximately 30 officers were present wearing body armor, while a police helicopter flew overheard.
Area residents were requested to stay indoors and away from the conflict.
Early reports indicated that the situation has no connection to the major hostage crisis in Sydney, Australia. A police spokesperson also announced that "for the time being we have no indication that there is a link to terrorism."
After several hours one hijacker gave himself up to place while two others were captured. The three suspects were detained without incident or violence.
Following these arrests, police entered the building, and the victim was found safe and in unharmed condition.
Armed police emerged at about 1pm from the cordoned-off building and began leaving the scene. "It's over," one police officer said. The prosecutor's office confirmed the incident has been resolved.
The suspects of the attack were not known to police, who iterated that the motive for the attack remains unknown. Neighbors told Belgian media that the apartment was known to have been used by drug dealers, perhaps indicating a criminal association.
After the resolution of the situation, the prosecution's spokeswoman confirmed there was no indication of a link in the Ghent case to terrorism.
"It's really nothing along the lines of what is happening in Sydney," she said.