The Belgian prosecutor’s office dealing with terrorism-related crimes has taken over the investigation into Thursday’s attack on police officers in Brussels, which left one dead and one police officer injured. TASR informs about it based on the AFP report.
“We have taken over this case because there is a suspicion of a terrorist motive, which the investigators will confirm or deny,” said prosecutor’s spokesman Eric Van Duyse. The incident took place on Thursday around 19:15 CET near one of the three main railway stations in the capital of Belgium – Brussel-Noord. According to local media, the attacker shouted: “Allahu akbar!” (Arabic: God is the greatest).
As reported by the British newspaper Express, two of their colleagues responded to the attack on two policemen by shooting and, according to the police, they “neutralized” the assailant, but did not kill them. The paramedics later took him to the hospital with his injuries. According to Le Soir, the attacked 29-year-old police officer succumbed to injuries caused by a knife after being taken to hospital.
“Our police officers risk their lives every day to ensure the safety of our citizens. Today’s dramatic event shows this once again,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Twitter. He added that his thoughts are with the family and friends of the murdered policeman and he firmly believes that his hospitalized colleague will recover from his injury.
Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden said she was in contact with Brussels’ mayor, police chief and security forces to coordinate the response to the violent incident. “Such violence against our people is unacceptable,” she emphasized.
The AP agency reminds that Belgium has been the target of several terrorist attacks in the last decade, including the 2016 suicide bombings at the Brussels airport and in the subway, which killed 32 people and injured hundreds of others.