posted at 7:21 pm on October 5, 2016 by John Sexton
Two police officers were stabbed in the Belgian neighborhood of Schaerbeek today. A spokesman for the prosecutor said it was a possible terror-related attack. From the Guardian:
A 43-year old Belgian man stabbed one officer in the neck and the other in the abdomen in the north-east of the Belgian capital on Wednesday and then fled the scene.
The assailant was stopped by a second group of police officers. He broke the nose of one officer, who shot him in the leg.
The federal prosecutor’s spokesman, Eric Van Der Sypt, said: “We have reason to believe that it is terror-related.” He declined to provide details or explain why prosecutors suspected the attack was linked to terrorism.
Hicham D., a 43-year-old Belgian citizen, was identified as the assailant in the attack. CNN has a bit more detail from a witness to the attack:
A 17-year-old French high school student, Stan Racine, witnessed the attack.
“The suspect pulled out a knife and attacked a policeman, and hurt him in the stomach and leg,” he told CNN. “The policeman then pulled out his pistol and shot the suspect in the leg.”
Racine said the suspect then shouted something in what he believed was Arabic.
Also on Wednesday there was a bomb scare at a Brussels train station. Police received an anonymous call warning of a bomb. The station was evacuated for an hour and searched but no bomb was found. A second anonymous bomb threat was phoned in to another train station and an airport in Charleroi, Belgium later the same day. Again no bomb was found and the station was re-opened.
— PJ (@PiejeyE) October 5, 2016
This is not the first attack on police in Belgium which has been connected with terrorism. In August a man attacked two female police officers with a machete in the Belgian city of Charleroi. ISIS later claimed responsibility for that attack.
Schaerbeek, where the attack today took place, is the neighborhood where the Brussels bombers lived while building the bombs that were set off at the Brussels airport in March.