LIEGE, Belgium – A razor-sharp prison inmate stabbed two police officers on Tuesday in Liege, Belgium, confiscated their service weapons and shot them and a spectator before being mowed down by a group of officers conducting a major terror investigation into the most violent Attack of the country since suicide attacks in 2016.
Prime Minister Charles Michel confirmed the attacker, who had a long criminal record containing theft, offenses and drug offenses, appeared in three was reported on radicalism, but was allowed to be released from prison anyway.
"Does our system work when we see these types of people roaming free?" Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo continued to ask the thoughts of many in a nation where armed police and armed soldiers were still armed after the March 201
On Tuesday there was a stop in the eastern city of Liège where a cafe stands, when the attacker jumped up from behind at the two female officers and repeated them stabbed.
"Then he took her weapons and used the weapons for the officers who died," the spokesman for the Liege prosecutor Philippe Dulieu told reporters.
Dulieu said the attacker shot and killed a 22-year-old teacher in a vehicle leaving a parking lot outside a nearby high school. He then took two women hostage to the school before turning to the police.
"He came out and fired on the police, injuring a number of them, especially in the legs, he was shot," the spokesman said, adding that the hostages escaped unscathed.
Justice Minister Koen Geens described the attacker as a repeat offender who had been imprisoned since 2003 and was due to be released in two years.
Police Chief Christian Beaupere said, "The attacker's target was to target the police." He identified the killed officers as 45-year-old Lucile Garcia and 53-year-old Soraya Belkacemi. He said Belkacemi was the mother of 13-year-old twin daughters who had earlier lost her father, also a police officer. Four other officers were injured in the attack, one heavy with a severed femoral artery.
The Belgian media identified the suspect as Benjamin Herman, a Belgian citizen born in 1982 who, however, refused to confirm his identity in accordance with standard procedures. Interior Minister Jan Jambon said the authorities had also investigated the alleged killing of an old acquaintance of the attacker on Monday and said that there could be a connection. "It's a serious hypothesis," he told the VRT network.
Asked for a video close to the scene in which louder "Allahu Akbar!" Shouted, Jambon said, "My reaction is that in many acts of terrorism it is the last thing they call." But, he added, it was up to federal investigators to decide if the Tuesday attack was terrorism.
"The examining magistrate has to figure out if we talk about terror, because terror also has something to do with somebody giving the order, ISIS or someone else when others are involved, we need to look at all these elements," Jambon said ,
Michel said the suspect of the Tuesday attack was mentioned indirectly in reports of the state security on radicalization. But the Prime Minister added that the reference was "in comments that were not directed primarily at him, but at other or other situations," and he was not on a list of suspects accused of OCAD anti-terrorism Rating group.
Asked to report that the attacker was radicalized in prison, Justice Minister Geens said it was "not a clear case".
"He certainly was not someone who could clearly be considered radicalized, otherwise he would have been known as such by all services," Geens said.
But a senior federal prosecutor told the Associated Press that "there is evidence that it could be a terrorist attack" anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Nevertheless, the Belgian Crisis Center stated that the warning against terrorist threats would not increase and remain at the second level of 4
The Belgian King Philippe, Michel and the country's Justice and Home Affairs ministers traveled to Liège to meet to consult with local officials.
"I would like to offer my government the support of the victims for the families of the victims," said Michel
It is not the first time that Liège has been hit by a fierce attack. In December 2011, a man with a history of gun and drug offenses threw hand grenades at a place filled with Christmas shopping and opened fire on those who tried to escape. Five people were killed, including the attacker.
Cook and Casert reported from Brussels.
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