Hostage may have calmed Belgian gunman

Hostage may have calmed Belgian gunman

Hostage may have calmed Belgian gunman

A police officer speaks with parents of children at a nearby high school in the eastern Belgian city of Liege on May 29, 2018, after a man killed three people including two policemen. Police shot him dead not long after. Four officers were wounded.

La Libre Belgique newspaper quoted a police source as saying that the "radicalised" gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic) while carrying out the massacre. In March 2016, in one of the most deadly incidents, three suicide bombers assaulted the airport and metro stations in the country's capital, Brussels, killing 32 people and injuring hundreds of others.

A knife-wielding prison inmate stabbed two female police officers in the Belgian city of Liege, stole their service weapons and shot them and a bystander dead in an attack Tuesday that prosecutors fear could be terror-related.

She said the attack is being treated as terrorism because Herman was in contact with radicalised people and his actions resembled Islamic State calls via video to attack police with knives and steal their weapons.

King Philippe visited Liege, the biggest city in Belgium's French-speaking Wallonia region.

Herman, 31, was killed in a shootout with police on Tuesday after stabbing two female police officers, taking their handguns and shooting them.

This is not the first time that attackers inspired by the ideology of the IS have carried out attacks of this kind in Western countries participating in the military alliance headed by Washington, which has been bombarding and otherwise fighting the jihadis since 2014.

- The case has been classified as a suspected "terrorist offence" and handed to the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, which investigates terror cases.

His government colleague Jan Jambon, meanwhile, confirmed that Herman is now the prime suspect in the murder of a man in Luxembourg province on Monday evening, this time using a hammer.

"The facts are qualified as terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder", prosecutors" spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt told a news briefing in Brussels.

'She was very courageous and perhaps, but this we will have to verify, she helped avoid more victims in the school, ' Jambon said. She happened to be Muslim and Herman apparently spared her because of this.

"He told me don't worry, I won't do anything at all".

"I answered yes. So he told me, 'I won't harm you, '" Darifa said.

She answered yes to both, she said, and he replied that he would not harm her.

A woman lays flowers on a memorial at the scene of a shooting in Liege, Belgium, Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

But Mr Jambon said the attack was an "isolated case".

Belgium has been on alert since authorities in January 2015 smashed a terror cell in the town of Verviers near Liege that was planning an attack on police.

Two other police officers were also injured. Belgian authorities have not said if they have evidence the inmate had vowed allegiance to IS or was acting on its orders.

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