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Mayor bans Belgian, Dutch political figures from visiting Muslim neighborhood in Brussels

Geert Wilders, a Dutch political leader, left, and Belgian anti-immigrant politician Filip Dewinter attend a briefing in Brussels on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. A Belgian mayor banned Wilders and Dewinter from holding a rally in Molenbeek, a Muslim-majority Brussels neighborhood.

GEERT VANDEN WIJNGAERT/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: November 3, 2017

BRUSSELS — Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders has cancelled his trip through a Muslim-majority neighborhood of Brussels after a Belgian mayor banned him from entering.

Wilders and Belgian anti-immigrant politician Filip Dewinter had planned to tour the Molenbeek neighborhood just after Friday Muslim prayers.

Some of the extremists linked to the Paris massacres in November 2015 and the suicide bomb attacks on the Brussels airport and subway in March 2016 lived in or traveled through Molenbeek. Belgian police and the army have remained on high alert for almost two years.

Molenbeek Mayor Francoise Schepmans issued an order Thursday saying the planned visit could not take place "to avoid any predictable threat to order and public peace."
 

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