Hunt on for gunman, attack claims fourth victim

2014-05-25 21:00
(AFP)

(AFP)

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Brussels - An attack on a Brussels Jewish Museum claimed a fourth victim on Sunday as Belgian police carried out a manhunt for the gunman, releasing chilling video footage of the shooting.

An Israeli tourist couple and two museum staff - a French woman and a Belgian man - died from gunshots to the face and neck after a man fired inside the museum on Saturday afternoon before escaping later on foot.

The Israelis and the French woman, who worked as a volunteer, died on the spot. The Belgian, who was in his 20s and worked at the museum's reception, was rushed to hospital critically injured and died on Sunday afternoon.

The first such attack in more than 30 years in Belgium has revived fears of a return of anti-Semitism to Europe, with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu lashing out at Europe's "hypocrisy" in its attitude to the Jewish state.

Speaking on arrival in Israel, Pope Francis said he was deeply saddened by the attack. "My thoughts go out to those who lost their lives in the attack in Brussels," he said. "I entrust the victims to God."

Appealing to the public for help in finding the shooter, deputy public prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch said he "probably" acted alone and was "well prepared and well armed".

Police released three videos of the suspect - in sunglasses, a cap and blue shirt - walking into the museum with two bags, removing an automatic rifle, shooting through a door, and then walking away again.

Van Wymersch said that as there was no claim for the shooting.

"I cannot confirm that it is a terrorist or anti-Semitic act" but "all leads remain open".

French President Francois Hollande, who along with Netanyahu had a phone conversation with the Belgian premier, said he had no doubt about the "anti-Semitic character" of the attack.

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