3 gunmen detained after standoff with police in Belgium

Belgian police detained three men who had stormed an apartment building and possibly took a hostage in the western city of Ghent Monday.

The victim was released unharmed, and authorities determined the incident was not an act of terrorism. There was heightened concern over the situation, since a gunman continued to hold an undetermined number of hostages in downtown Sydney, Australia Monday, and forced them to display an Islamic flag in a café window.

But there was no indication of any link to terrorism in the Ghent situation, and local media suggested it may have involved a dispute over drugs, the BBC reported.

"There appears to be nothing political," Belgian federal police spokeswoman Annemie Serlippens said of the situation.

"This isn't the same sort of incident as the events in Sydney," Serlippens added.

Early Monday morning there were reports that four men armed with guns burst into the apartment building in a working-class neighborhood. Police immediately closed off surrounding streets and set up a security perimeter.

After several hours, heavily armed police officials moved into the building, they found the alleged victim in his apartment unharmed. It wasn't clear if he had been attacked or held hostage. At least two men left the building with their hands up.

There are no further details on how the third man came out or whether police were still looking for more suspects.

Local media reported a previous hostage incident in Ghent two months ago that was linked to extortion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.