A body found on Sunday in eastern Belgium is probably that of a soldier suspected of extreme-right views who went missing after stealing arms from a military base and threatening public figures, prosecutors said.

"According to the first elements of the investigation, it is Jurgen Conings," a statement said.

Hundreds of police and army personnel were deployed last month on the hunt for Conings, 46, after his abandoned vehicle was found in the area near the Dutch border with four rocket launchers inside.

Conings, who reportedly served in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, was believed to remain armed and dangerous after he was suspected of stealing weapons from a military base where he worked as an instructor.

The discovery was first reported after a town mayor on Sunday said he had found the body during a bike ride in a forest near where Conings’s car had been found last month.

"I immediately thought of Jurgen Conings and notified the police. They found the body," Johan Tollenaere of the eastern town of Maaseik, told VRT news.

The manhunt dominated newspaper headlines in the country, with some labelling Conings the "Belgian Rambo" after the 1980s action film starring Sylvester Stallone.

Among the people Conings had threatened is Marc Van Ranst, a leading virologist who has become a target for conspiracy theorists, Covid-sceptics and the Flemish far-right in Belgium during the coronavirus crisis.