Wednesday, 5 October 2016


Two police officers in Brussels have been stabbed in a suspected terrorist attack in which the suspect was shot while trying to escape.

The man knifed one officer in the neck and another in the stomach at around noon on Boulevard Lambermont in the Schaerbeek area.

He then broke the nose of a third officer who had arrived at the scene.

The man fled but was shot in the leg after he was stopped by a second group of police. He is now in custody.

The 43-year-old suspect, named as Hicham D by prosecutors, is a Belgian citizen.

Eric Van Der Sypt, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, said: "We have reason to believe the incident was a terrorist attack."

Belgian newspaper Le Soir, quoting sources in the prosecutor's office, said the suspect is an ex-member of the country's army who was discharged in 2009.

It said he was already on the radar for alleged links with people who have gone to fight for terror groups in Syria.

Police said the plain-clothes officers attacked on Wednesday had not suffered life-threatening injuries.

Image Caption:Police and soldiers were on patrol after a bomb alert at Gare du Nord

Shortly before the attack, the city's Gare du Nord railway station was closed for an hour because of a bomb alert.

Services resumed after bomb disposal teams checked the area. The two incidents are not believed to be linked, police sources said.

Belgium has been on high alert after bombings in March killed 32 people at the city's airport and a metro station, claimed by IS.

In August, two policewomen were wounded in the southern Belgian city of Mons by a machete-wielding man who shouted "God is Great" in Arabic.

The assailant was shot dead and Islamic State again claimed responsibility.

In September, a man carrying a knife attacked two police officers in the Molenbeek area of Brussels, but the officers were wearing bulletproof vests and suffered only bruises.

The suspect said nothing during the attack and gave no indication of his motives.

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