Man shot dead after attacking soldiers in Brussels


A man was shot dead in central Brussels on Friday evening after he attacked two soldiers, prosecutors said.

“With the identity that we currently have, [the suspect] is a 30-year-old man who is not known for terrorist activities,” a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said.

The soldiers were lightly wounded in the attack, one in the face and the other in the hand.

The crisis center said in a tweet late Friday that the situation “is under control”.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel also tweeted that “all our support is with our soldiers. Our security services remain on alert. We are following the situation closely.”

In June, Belgian troops shot dead a suspected suicide bomber at Brussels’ main train station. The man was later identified as a 36-year-old Moroccan national, the federal prosecutor’s office said.

The Belgian capital – home to the headquarters of both NATO and the European Union – has been on high alert since a Brussels-based Islamic State group cell organised an attack that killed 130 people in Paris in November 2015. Four months later, associates of those attackers killed 32 people in Brussels.

>> Read more: The Brussels bombers and their links to the Paris attacks

Attacks in Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden have been carried out in the name of the Islamist group by other young men, many of them locals.

“Such isolated acts will continue in Brussels, in Paris and elsewhere. It’s inevitable,” Brussels security consultant Claude Moniquet, a former French agent, told broadcaster RTL shortly after the thwarted attack at Brussels central station.

With the Islamic State group under pressure in Syria – with Belgium being the most fertile European recruiting ground for foreign Islamist fighters – he said attacks in Europe may increase, though many of these would be by “amateurs” who would not manage to commit large acts of terror.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

Date created : 2017-08-25

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