Belgian mayor forces Dutch far-right leader to cancel trip

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, left, and Belgian anti-immigrant politician Filip Dewinter address the media at the Belgian federal parliament 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. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

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

Wilders and Belgian anti-immigrant politician Filip Dewinter had planned to tour the Molenbeek neighbourhood 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 travelled 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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