Sunday 22 July 2018

Machete-wielding man shot dead in Brussels after 'attempted terrorist attack'

Policemen react on the scene after Belgian soldiers shot a man who attacked them with a knife, in Brussels, Belgium August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Policemen react on the scene after Belgian soldiers shot a man who attacked them with a knife, in Brussels, Belgium August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
This screengrab shows police officials looking at a man on the pavement in the city centre of Brussels on August 25, 2017, where a man is alleged to have attacked soldiers with a knife and was shot. / AFP PHOTO / Belga / STR / Belgium OUTSTR/AFP/Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Soldiers shot dead a man in Brussels after he attacked troops with a knife in a "terror attack".

The man twice shouted "Allahu akbar," Arabic for "God is great," as he ran at the soldiers, said Esther Natus, a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor's office.

"We do consider it a terror attack," Ms Natus said.

She declined to identify the man or confirm whether he was known to police, saying only that "the suspect is dead" and one of the soldiers was slightly wounded.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said three soldiers came under attack and one had been taken to hospital.

Federal Police spokesman Jonathan Pfunde also confirmed some details of the incident and said the attacker had been "neutralised".

Belgium's anti-terror crisis centre tweeted that the situation was "under control".

"All our support is with our soldiers," Prime Minister Charles Michel said via Twitter. "Our security services remain on alert. We are following the situation closely."

This screengrab shows police officials and a soldier looking at a man on the pavement in the city centre of Brussels on August 25, 2017, where a man is alleged to have attacked soldiers with a knife and was shot./ AFP PHOTO / Belga / STR / Belgium OUTSTR/AFP/Getty Images
This screengrab shows police officials and a soldier looking at a man on the pavement in the city centre of Brussels on August 25, 2017, where a man is alleged to have attacked soldiers with a knife and was shot./ AFP PHOTO / Belga / STR / Belgium OUTSTR/AFP/Getty Images

Associated Press television images showed police had sealed off a main street near the Grand Place, a central square that is a popular tourist site.

Thomas da Silva Rosa, a man who lives near where the incident took place on Boulevard Emile Jacquemain, said he saw the attacker lying in the street in the aftermath.

"I live right in front of the station. It was already blocked by police at the scene and there was a man lying on the ground. The police said he had been shot by soldiers," said Mr da Silva Rosa, a public affairs consultant.

"He was lying on the ground, appeared dead," he told AP.

Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people in attacks March 22, 2016, on Brussels' main airport and subway system.

Soldiers and extra police have been deployed at public buildings and around large gatherings for more than a year.

Press Association

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