BRUSSELS, Belgium - Authorities removed Brussels from the maximum terror-threat level that has kept the city on edge since last weekend as Belgian police continued raids at homes across the country.
The capital is no longer facing an "imminent threat," Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters in Brussels on Thursday evening. Still, he said that the cut to level 3 - the same as the rest of the country - shows the risk of a terror attack "remains serious."
The Brussels subway will be fully reopened starting Friday morning and major events will be allowed on a "case-by-case basis," Michel said. Troops and police will continue to patrol the streets and schools as the security measures are "progressively" scaled back, he said. Only 35 of 69 metro stations were reopened on Wednesday.
Michel would not say why the risk level had been cut, and prosecutors earlier gave no indication of a breakthrough in the hunt for Salah Abdeslam, the man suspected of links to the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.
"The federal prosecutor's office will communicate about the terror probe when they deem it appropriate," Justice Minister Koen Geens told VTM television. Geens said that Abdeslam is probably getting help from others as he continues to evade arrest. "If someone is on the run on his own, he is caught quickly, while it is tougher to find someone who is not alone."
The government warned Saturday that Brussels was under threat of an immediate attack on multiple targets. Authorities closed schools, shopping centers and the subway network, advised cafes to shut early, and told people to avoid large gatherings.
The government is aiming for a quick return to normal life, Michel told lawmakers in the parliament earlier on Thursday. The government's actions last weekend were critical, he said.
"We acted immediately, without delay, with the necessary composure," he said. "We will not choose between freedom and security."
Belgium has charged five people with terror offenses since the Nov. 13 assaults in the French capital that left 130 dead. Belgian authorities announced a manhunt on Tuesday for another suspect, Mohamed Abrini, who was seen driving a car between Brussels and Paris with Abdeslam two days before the Paris attacks. They described Abrini as "dangerous and probably armed."
Counterterror raids continued on Thursday. Belgian prosecutors said nobody was detained after searches in Auvelais, south of Brussels, or in Verviers, near the German border.