Some Brussels police stay off work in apparent strike action

Police in the part of Brussels that has been at the center of anti-terror actions over the past year are staying away from duty, apparently concerned about excessive working hours patrolling the streets and guarding buildings.

Authorities of the Brussels West zone, which covers Molenbeek, said in a statement that both the night shift and Friday's morning shift called in sick. The statement said that "it is likely a strike initiative, with work pressure as the reason for the initiative."

The statement said police from other zones had moved in to take over duties, saying "service to the population was not endangered at any moment."

Molenbeek had extensive links to the November 2015 attacks in Paris, since some of the suspects were raised or were living in the Brussels neighborhood.