Image source, EPA

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The incident happened early on Sunday, reportedly as performers were preparing a parade

At least four people have been killed after a car rammed into a crowd in southern Belgium.

The incident happened in the small town of Strépy-Bracquegnies, about 30 miles (50km) south of the capital Brussels.

The car reportedly drove at high-speed into a group of carnival performers who were preparing a parade on Sunday.

"We have a few dozen injured and unfortunately several people killed," the town's Mayor Jacques Gobert told the RTBF radio station.

At least 12 people are reported to be seriously injured following the crash. The occupants of the car have been arrested, police said.

The circumstances of the incident are not yet clear, but some local media reports suggest it may have followed a police chase.

Officials are working to establish whether a terror attack can be ruled out.

"Deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the incident this morning," Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden wrote on Twitter.

"What was supposed to be a great party turned into a tragedy," she added. "We are monitoring the situation closely."