Dead suspect in Brussels raid had Kalashnikov rifle: prosecutor

A member of the special forces takes position on a roof near the site of a shooting in the southern Forest district of Brussels, on March 15, 2016 (AFP Photo/Dirk Waem)

Brussels (AFP) - Police faced one or more assailants during a major Franco-Belgian anti-terror operation Tuesday in Brussels linked to the Paris attacks and killed a suspect armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, the federal prosecutor's office said.

"In this operation, one or several people opened fire on the police as they came through the door... (and) one suspect armed with a Kalashnikov type assault rifle was killed," a statement said.

The identity of this person "is being established," it said.

There had been speculation that Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the November attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead, might have been the target of the operation but the prosecutor's spokesman expressly ruled it out.

The statement said four police were wounded in the operation -- three in the initial shootout around 3:00 pm (1400 GMT), including a French police woman, plus another officer later in the day when the suspect was killed at just after 6:00 pm.

"The investigation is being actively pursued, night and day and it is not possible to give further details at this stage so as not to hinder enquiries," it said.

A press conference will be held at 10:30 am on Wednesday, it added.

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