Monday, 22 October, 2018

Belgium attack: Liege assailant killed fourth person day before, minister says

Police officers redirect traffic near the site where an armed man shot and killed two police officers Police officers redirect traffic near the site where an armed man shot and killed two police officers
Leonard Rios | 01 June, 2018, 00:17

Herman, 31, was on a two-day release at the time and Belgian officials say they accept they face questions about how he was able to kill four people while out of jail.

Some experts say that the country is susceptible to radicalization because Muslim youth there feel marginalized.

Two female police officers were killed in Belgium today when a man stabbed them, took their guns and shot them in what authorities have since deemed a terror attack.

The third victim, 22-year-old Cyril Vangriecken, was sitting in the passenger seat of a nearby parked auto when he was shot. Police fatally shot Herman after taking at least one woman hostage at a nearby school.

Mr Van der Sypt said Herman attacked officers Soraya Belkacemi, 53, and Lucille Garcia, 45, from behind, stabbing each several times before grabbing their service weapons. Beaupere said he wanted to reassure parents that the gunman did not plan to attack a school.

Unlike after other suspected "lone wolf" attacks in Europe, there has been no claim of responsibility by so-called Islamic State.

Prosecutors confirmed Herman was being investigated over the case, saying it was a separate investigation.

The Belgian Royal Palace also tweeted its sympathies after the shooting.

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The Belgian Royal Palace tweeted, "Our thoughts are with the victims of the bad incident in Liege. Courage to their loved ones", the tweet read.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon at a press conference today into the terror attacks. The crisis center said the students in the school were safe and that none had been injured.

The shooter, a Belgian national called Benjamin Herman, also took a woman hostage during his rampage on Tuesday, and Mr Jambon said she may have talked him down and helped to avoid more deaths inside the school. The chief of police in Liege, Christian Beaupère, said, "We have not sufficient words to express our emotion".

Officials are treating the motives for the killings of the officers and the bystander in Liege as terrorism. The man wanted to run out and he was shot down. "When he saw me he pretended to shoot in my direction but he did not really have the space".

He added that "all flags on municipal buildings" were to be flown at half-mast, a book of condolences would be placed in the local town hall and a service would be held at 13:00 local time on Wednesday to honour the victims of the attack.

"I have to examine my own conscience", Koen Geens said. We didn't see anything because we were locked in the room.

A man leaves flowers at a memorial as he attends a moment of silence for shooting victims near the City Hall in Liege, Belgium, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. For centuries, it has been an important cultural and industrial center for the country.

Liege was hit by a similarly violent attack in 2011, when a man with a history of weapons and drug offences hurled grenades into a square filled with Christmas shoppers, killing five.

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