Knifeman is shot after stabbing policeman in Belgium ‘while shouting “Allahu Akbar”‘ hours before Macron visits Brussels district linked to Paris terror attack
- Stabbing took place close to the historic Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium
- Police officer victim was left with non-life threatening injuries in the attack
- The knifeman was shot and seriously injured after the ‘cowardly’ stabbing
A knifeman has been shot after stabbing a police officer ‘while shouting “Allahu Akbar”‘ near the Grand Place in Brussels’ historic centre.
The attacker struck outside the Belgian capital’s central police station at 5.30am in before a colleague retaliated with gunfire.
Local media say the stabbing was an apparent Islamist militant attack amid reports the suspect cried ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Greatest).
The victim was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries while the attacker was seriously injured.
The attack took place on the second day of a state visit to Belgium by French President Emmanuel Macron with memories of the Paris and Brussels attacks running high. Later today, Macron visits the Brussels district of Molenbeek, home of ISIS jihadists who carried out the 2015 Paris attacks that left 130 people dead.
A person has been shot after stabbing a police officer close to the Grand Place in Brussels’ historic centre
Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said the early morning incident was a ‘cowardly act against our policemen’.
Police spokeswoman Ilse van de Keere told AFP a police officer was ‘stabbed and slightly wounded’ and taken to hospital.
‘His colleagues retaliated by firing shots at the attacker who was subdued’ but whose life is not in danger.
The spokeswoman refused to confirm a local media report that the attacker had shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’.
Justice Minister Koen Geens said investigators were looking at all possible motivations including links to extremist groups but there were no clear indications as yet.
Belgium, home to European Union institutions and NATO, has been on alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people at Brussels airport and on the city’s metro in 2016, although the national threat level was reduced to two from three on a four-point scale in January.