Brussels police stabbing was 'terrorist attack'

2016-10-06 22:15
Police investigate the scene where a man stabbed two police officers in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood in Brussels. (Olivier Matthys, AP)

Police investigate the scene where a man stabbed two police officers in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood in Brussels. (Olivier Matthys, AP)

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Brussels - Belgian prosecutors charged a suspect with attempted murder on Thursday over the stabbing of two police officers in a "terrorist attack" in Brussels, the latest such incident in a city still reeling from deadly bombings in March.

The suspect in Wednesday's attack, named as 43-year-old Hicham D has been "charged with attempted murder in a terrorist context and participation at the activities of a terrorist group", a statement from the prosecutor's office said.

His brother, Aboubaker D, had also been taken into custody "in the framework of the terrorist attack against two police officers" in Brussels, it said. The brother was born in 1970 and both men have Belgian nationality.

"The investigating judge, specialising in terrorism, will decide tomorrow on the possible extension of his detention," the statement added.

Police shot the attacker in the leg after he used a knife to attack the two officers, one female and one male, in the Schaerbeek area of the Belgian capital before breaking the nose of a third officer.

Reports said the attacker was a former soldier with ties to jihadists who had gone to fight in Syria.

Wednesday's incident came shortly after one of the main train stations in Brussels and the city's prosecutor's office were shut by a bomb scare which later turned out to be a false alarm.

The stabbing comes two months after two policewomen were wounded in the southern Belgian city of Charleroi by a machete-wielding man who shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).

Belgium remains on its second highest terror alert level following the March 22 Islamic State suicide bombings targeting the Brussels metro and airport in which 32 people were killed.

Read more on:    belgium  |  brussels attacks

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