A police officer killed in a knife attack in Brussels has seized anti-terror justice
A police officer succumbed to his injuries after being attacked with a knife by an arrested man in Brussels on Thursday evening and arrested by the Belgian public prosecutor’s office responsible for…
A police officer succumbed to his injuries after being attacked with a knife by an arrested man in Brussels on Thursday evening and the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office responsible for terrorism matters was asked to investigate.
“We took over the file because there is a suspicion of a terrorist motive, which of course has to be confirmed or denied by the investigation,” said Eric Van Duyse, spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, the AFP news agency.
A suspect who was hit by return fire from another police officer was arrested and taken to hospital. Two police officers were attacked and injured in the attack. One of them did not survive.
Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden tweeted a “terrible drama” and “unacceptable violence”.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo paid tribute to the slain police officer and to an entire profession “that risks their lives every day to keep our citizens safe”. “My sincere hope is that his colleague at the hospital is doing well,” he added.
The facts happened around 19:15 (18:15 GMT) in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek in the Gare du Nord district.
For reasons yet to be determined, a man armed with a knife attacked and beat a patrol of two police officers.
He then called for reinforcements and an agent from another patrol used his service weapon to “neutralize the attacker,” according to the Belga news agency.
A local resident told multiple media outlets, including AFP, that he heard “five or six gunshots” shortly after the attack.
According to several media outlets, the suspect was shot in the legs and stomach.
He was taken to the hospital along with the two injured police officers. The one who didn’t survive had been stabbed in the neck.
According to several Belgian newspapers, the suspect had “made threats against the police” earlier in the day at a police station in another Brussels municipality without worrying.
Since 2016, the year of the jihadist attacks in Brussels (32 dead on March 22), Belgium has been the scene of several attacks on soldiers and police officers.
The last attack classified as “terrorist” occurred on May 29, 2018 in Liège (east), when Benjamin Herman, a 31-year-old radicalized criminal, shot and killed two police officers and a student while shouting “Allah Akbar” (“God is the greatest”). Then he was shot dead by the police.
On August 25, 2017, a 30-year-old man of Somali origin attacked soldiers with a knife (lightly injuring one of them) while shouting “Allahu Akbar” in the heart of downtown Brussels. He too was shot.
A year earlier, on August 6, 2016, outside the police station in Charleroi (south), an Algerian man living in Belgium attacked two female police officers with a machete while shouting “Allah Akbar”, injuring their faces and necks before they were shot dead . The next day, the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack.
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