A stabbing attack in Brussels kills a police officer, local police say



CNN

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

“It is suspected that this is related to terrorism. It naturally has to be confirmed by the investigation,” Eric Van Duyse, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor, told CNN.

The incident on Thursday evening involved the officer being attacked with a knife. “Other officers came as back-ups and used their guns to shoot the attacker to control the man,” a Brussels North police spokesman told CNN in an email.

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

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

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

The police sent their condolences to the family of the murdered policeman after the news of the attack.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo offered his condolences and said his thoughts were with the family and friends of the deceased policeman.

“Our police officers risk life and limb every day to keep our community safe.” Unfortunately, it is revealed once again today,” he said in a tweet.

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

“My thoughts are first and foremost with the next of kin, members of the police precinct and the entire police organization,” she tweeted.

Philippe Close, the mayor of Brussels, called this an “unbearable drama” in Brussels.

“We are in solidarity with the police. The police protect us and must protect us,” he said.

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said she was shocked by the killing of the 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 suffered several terrorist attacks in the past decade.

In 2017, ISIS claimed responsibility for a knife attack on soldiers in Brussels. The soldiers were slightly injured in the incident, but one managed to shoot the attacker, who later died in hospital.

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

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