Two people were killed by gunfire in downtown Brussels Monday night and prosecutors are investigating a possible terrorist-related motive.
(Bloomberg) — Two people were killed by gunfire in downtown Brussels Monday night and prosecutors are investigating a possible terrorist-related motive.
The victims were Swedish, which federal prosecutors said may have been a motivation in the shooting.
European cities have been on high alert for possible extremist acts after the attacks by Hamas in Israel. But prosecutors said late Monday that there was no indication yet of a link to the conflict.
A video circulated on social media site with a man declaring in Arabic that he shot several Swedes out of revenge and was inspired by the Islamic State terrorist group. The authenticity of the video couldn’t be determined immediately. The suspect remains at large.
Read more: Sweden Sees First Hate Speech Conviction After Koran Burning
“Horrified by the terrorist attack which left two victims in the heart of Brussels,” Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said in a post on the X social media network. “All necessary means must be mobilized to combat radicalism.”
Sweden and Belgium were playing a European Championship qualifier football match in Brussels, but the game was suspended at halftime after the news of the shooting. Fans had been asked to remain in the stadium for safety, but are now being evacuated.
Brussels raised its threat level to 4, which asks people to avoid non-essential movement.
“We are monitoring the situation and ask the people of Brussels to be vigilant,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in a post on X. He later posted, “As close partners the fight against terrorism is a joint one.”
–With assistance from Jorge Valero.
(Updates with details from prosecutors starting in second paragraph)
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