2 dead in Belgium attack

2011-12-13 16:32
Brussels - Three men armed with hand grenades and guns attacked a bus stop in eastern Belgium on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding at least 10, Belgian media reported.

Interior Ministry official Peter Mertens confirmed the attack in Liege city, saying at least one or two assailants were involved and at least one person was killed and several were wounded. Emergency medical teams were called in from as far away as the Netherlands, Mertens said.

Phone calls to Liege authorities were not immediately answered.

The daily newspapers Le Soir and La Capitale reported that the three assailants lobbed grenades into a crowd at the bus shelter and opened fire with guns. Belgian media reported that one of the two attackers was apparently killed, a man believed to be about 40 years old.

New reports said the attack began at about 12:30 when the men lobbed several grenades at the bus shelter in Place Saint-Lambert, a busy downtown square. The reports said witnesses reported four explosions and gunfire.

An unidentified man who was wounded in the attack told Belgium's VRT television network that "someone threw grenades and fired shots".

Police were on the scene quickly and sealed off the square. TV images showed blood splattered across the cobblestones.

Valerie Schaaps, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office in Brussels, confirmed there had been explosions and gunfire, causing injuries.

The daily La Meuse newspaper said an attacker had killed himself.

Place Saint-Lambert is a busy crossroads. Every day 1 800 buses serve the square, which leads to downtown shopping streets.

The Place Saint-Lambert and the nearby Place du Marche host the Liege's annual Christmas market which consists of 200 retail cabins and attracts some 1.5 million visitors a year.

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