Terror on the streets of Belgium

Police officers redirect traffic near the site where an armed man shot and killed two police officers

Police officers redirect traffic near the site where an armed man shot and killed two police officers

The attacker also shot dead a 22-year-old man in a nearby auto.

Liege prosecutors' spokesman Philippe Dulieu said the man approached two police officers from behind carrying a knife and stabbed them several times.

Police subsequently killed the gunman in a shootout after he entered a nearby high school and took a woman hostage. Four other officers were wounded in the attack, one of them seriously with a severed femoral artery. Then I saw a person with two weapons starting to shout "Allahu Akbar" all over the place. He was serving time for drug offences and classified as "unstable", according to RTBF.

A senior official at the federal prosecutor's office since said there were 'indications it could be a terror attack'.

Asked about reports that Herman had been radicalised in prison, Mr Geens said "at the moment there is very little consistent we can say about that".

Liège police Officers Soraya Belkacemi and Lucile Garcia were stabbed in the back and then shot with their own weapon by suspected attacker Benjamin Herman outside a café in the city center.

"It is clear that the objective of the assassin was to target the police", the head of Liege Police, Christian Beaupere, said later Tuesday.

In August that same year, a machete-wielding man shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest") attacked two policewomen in the industrial town of Charleroi before being shot dead.

Confirming that Herman was also believed to have killed an acquaintance 50 km (30 miles) away on Monday night, Jambon told RTL radio: "There are signs he was radicalized in prison but is it that radicalization which drove him to commit these acts?"

Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, told AFP there were "elements that point in the direction that this is a terrorist act".

Belgium remains on alert after a series of jihadist attacks in the country and in France, where 130 people were killed in Paris in attacks orchestrated by a Brussels-based cell.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said on Twitter that the country's crisis center was monitoring the situation.

Liège mayor Willy Demeyer confirmed the deaths of the two female officers during a press conference and said that "physical and psychological support" would be provided to the families of the victims.

Pierre Etienne Dit Pave, who teaches French language classes nearby, said he was first alerted to the attack by a "commotion in the street" and went out to investigate.

- He was last in prison at Marche-en-Famenne, in the French-speaking Wallonia region.

Belgian officials confirmed a third person, a bystander who was in his auto at the time, was also killed.

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