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A police officer was killed in a knife attack in Brussels, local police say

A police officer was killed in a knife attack in Brussels, local police say



CNN

A knife attack in Brussels that left at least one police officer dead is “suspected to be linked to terrorism”, authorities said Thursday.

“It is suspected that it is terrorism. Of course, that has to be confirmed by an investigation,” Belgian federal prosecutor’s spokesman Eric Van Duyse told CNN.

In an incident on Thursday evening, a police patrol was attacked by a person with a knife. “Other officers came as backup and are using their weapons to shoot the assailant to control the person,” a Brussels North police spokesman told CNN via email.

“The injured were taken to the hospital. The first investigative actions are underway,” added the spokesperson.

The attacker was shot in the leg, prosecutor’s spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt said.

The attack took place around 19:30 local time on Rue d’Aerschot in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek, according to Van Duyse.

MPs sent their condolences to the family of the slain policeman following news of the attack.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo expressed his condolences, saying his thoughts were with the family and friends of the deceased officer.

“Our police officers risk life and limb every day to protect our society. Unfortunately, that is once again evident today,” he said in a tweet.

Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden described the incident as “a terrible drama and heartbreaking news”.

“My thoughts are above all with the closest relatives, members of the police zone and the entire police organization,” she wrote on Twitter.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close called it an “unbearable drama” in Brussels.

“We stand in solidarity with the police force. The police protect us and must be protected,” he said.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said she was “shocked” by the killing of a police officer in the line of duty.

“The Belgian police have worked so closely with (the European Parliament) over the years that this feels personal to us. All our thoughts are with them, their loved ones and everyone in Belgium,” she wrote on Twitter.

Belgium has experienced several terrorist attacks in the last decade.

In 2017, ISIS claimed responsibility for the knife attack soldiers in Brussels. In the incident, the soldiers were slightly wounded, but one of them managed to shoot the attacker, who later died in the hospital.

In June of that year, a suspect was fatally shot at a transit station in Brussels after a failed bombing that authorities called a terrorist attack. In March 2016, 31 people were killed and more than 300 wounded in coordinated attacks on the Brussels airport and metro station.



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