Belgian shooting rampage was act of terrorism, prosecutors say

02 June, 2018, 20:24 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Police at the scene

Hearses came to transport the bodies of the victims inside the security perimeter set by the police at the scene of a shooting in Liege, on May 29, 2018, after a gunman shot dead three people, two of them policemen, before being killed by elite officers.

During the incident, Herman reportedly yelled "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for "God is Great".

Roggen said Herman's modus operandi resembled that of "Islamic State", militant group, which exhorts its supporters via video messages to attack police with knives and steal their weapons.

Hundreds of people, mostly police officers observed a minute's silence at the Liege city centre to pay their respects to those killed in the attack, while flags were flying at half-mast.

He then took two women hostage inside a school where he was shot dead by police after an exchange of gunfire. Officials later confirmed that Herman had also killed another person on Monday.

Benjamin Herman, 31, was on day leave from jail when he killed the man, whom he had met in jail, Belgium Interior Minister Jan Jambon said today. The victim, a former prison inmate Herman had served time with, died after being hit on the head with a blunt object.

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Then, Darifa said, "he walked out, and I left". Beaupere said he wanted to reassure parents that the gunman did not plan to attack a school.

Belgian investigators have opened a terrorism inquiry after Tuesday's attacks.

A spokesperson from the Liege prosecutor's office told CNN that it is not yet clear what the attacker's motive was.

The police officers have been identified as Soraya Belkacemi, 44, and Lucile Garcia, 54.

Herman first stabbed the officers repeatedly from behind with a knife, stole their handguns and shot them as they lay on the ground.

The gunman, after killing the two policewomen and a 22-year-old who was sitting in a parked auto, then fled to the Lycee Waha School where he took a cleaning woman as hostage.

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Authorities said Herman, who was on a leave of absence from jail when the attacks occurred, had several encounters with police since he was a minor.

The 31-year-old also shot dead a student sitting in a parked vehicle in the center of the industrial city. The attacker was later killed by police.

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel said he was following the situation closely and expressed his support for those caught up in the shooting.

Still, Belgium's crisis center said it saw no reason to raise the country's terror threat alert for now.

"The author of the attack on the city of Liege in Belgium is a soldier of the Islamic State", IS said in a statement published on Amaq's Telegram account a day after the attack.

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