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16 arrested in Belgium in terror-related probes involving Chechen extremists

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 file photo, a Belgian para-commando and anti-terror squad policemen guard the parking area at the Palace of Justice, where suspects wanted in Belgium on terrorism-related charges have to appear before the federal court in Brussels. On Monday June 8, 2015 Belgian police arrested 16 people  in twin terrorism-related investigations involving Chechen extremists, authorities said. Members of one group, based in western Flanders, were allegedly active in Syria and probably participated in combat there, prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 file photo, a Belgian para-commando and anti-terror squad policemen guard the parking area at the Palace of Justice, where suspects wanted in Belgium on terrorism-related charges have to appear before the federal court in Brussels. On Monday June 8, 2015 Belgian police arrested 16 people in twin terrorism-related investigations involving Chechen extremists, authorities said. Members of one group, based in western Flanders, were allegedly active in Syria and probably participated in combat there, prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)  (The Associated Press)

Belgian authorities say 16 people have been arrested as a result of twin terrorism-related investigations.

The federal prosecutor's office says the arrests took place Monday.

Those arrested were described as members of two separate Chechen extremist groups that had links between them.

The prosecutor's office said some of those arrested had participated in combat in Syria, where thousands of Europeans have gone to fight alongside the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations.