Belgian police have stormed an apartment in the city of Ghent after four armed men were believed to have taken a hostage, prosecutors said.

Several suspects were arrested after the police raid, witnesses said on Monday.

The local prosecutor told the Belga news agency that one person was taken hostage, while local police told AFP news agency that "four armed men" were involved in the incident in a working-class area of the northwestern city.

One person had been arrested earlier and taken away, handcuffed and blindfolded, according to witnesses.

“We have cordoned off the area and ask residents to stay inside for their own safety. As of yet, the neighbourhood has not been evacuated," Mugica Gonzalez, a police spokesperson, told Belgian daily De Morgen.

A prosecutor told AFP news agency that there was "no indication that this is linked to terrorism, the Islamic State [of Iraq and the Levant group, also known as ISIL] or what is happening at the moment in Sydney".

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies