Man shot by soldiers as retaliation in Brussels

27 August, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Ora Austin
  • This screengrab shows police officials and a soldier looking at a man on the pavement in the city centre of Brussels where a man is alleged to have attacked soldiers with a knife and was shot. AFP

The assailant deliberately drove his auto towards a police vehicle in a restricted area outside the world-famous palace at around 8.35pm local time.

As well as the knife, police found a replica gun and two copies of the Quran on him.

"Initial indications are ... that it is an isolated attack, a single person", Close told reporters beside a street blocked by police.

Police searched his home in Bruges overnight as the investigation into his motives and any possible network continues.

However, the police will be able to draw final conclusions only after they receive the results of the suspect's autopsy and ballistics reports.

The Queen was at her Balmoral residence in Scotland at the time.

According to the authorities, the 30-year-old man, identified as a Somali citizen, came to Belgium in 2004.

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The attack in Brussels was officially qualified as a terrorist act, the federal prosecutor's office said.

The man attacked the soldiers around 8:20 p.m. near the Sainte Catherine neighborhood in the city center. The threat is now at level three, the second highest, which indicates a "serious and real" threat, but not an imminent attack. He was granted Belgian nationality in 2015, it said.

While he had no previous connection with terror before Friday night's attack, he did have an assault charge on his record from February this year, a statement said.

Meanwhile, following the Barcelona attack, the Mayor of Venice said anyone shouting Allahu Akbar would be treated as potential terrorists and be shot dead on four paces.

Approaching, he added that he saw "a soldier who was bleeding from the hand and a man on the ground", who "wore a beard and had also a hood".

In March 2016, bombers detonated explosives at Brussels Airport and at a Metro station in the city, killing 32 civilians and putting the city on lockdown.

Brussels was the location of the first Isis-linked attack in Europe, where a militant killed four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in May 2014.

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