Police shoot man dead in hunt for gunman in Brussels

Media reports aired amateur videos showed a man shooting several times near a station using a large weapon.

Police shoot man dead in hunt for gunman in Brussels PA Media

A man suspected of killing two Swedish nationals in Brussels overnight has been shot dead by police and a weapon has been recovered, Belgium’s interior minister said.

Annelies Verlinden told VRT radio that “we have the good news that we found the individual”.

Amateur videos posted on social media of Monday’s attack showed a man wearing an orange fluorescent vest pull up on a scooter, take out a large weapon and open fire on passers by before chasing them into a building to gun them down.

Authorities had been searching for a 45-year-old suspected Tunisian extremist who was known to police and was living in Belgium illegally.

It comes after Belgian authorities raised the terror alert to its highest level in the capital after the fatal shooting which Prime Minister Alexander De Croo suggested was linked to terrorism.

The OCAD anti-terror centre also said the terror alert for the rest of the country had been raised to its second-highest level.

Laura Demullier of the OCAD said the highest priority for authorities had been to get thousands of football fans attending a Belgium-Sweden football match safely out of the the King Baudouin Stadium where the match was abandoned at half-time.

The attacker was still at large and the killings happened three miles from the stadium, where more than 35,000 fans were held for more than two hours.

“The population needs to be actively vigilant and avoid any unnecessary travel,” Ms Demullier said.

Raising the terror level to the top 4 rating means the threat is “extremely serious”. It previously stood at 2, which means the threat was average.

Mr De Croo described those behind the shooting as “cowards”.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday morning, he said the night was meant to be “a wonderful soccer party” and said the victims had been “cut down by extreme brutality”.

“Terrorism is directed against people everywhere,” he said. “Terrorists will never defeat us and we are fighting it together with our Swedish friends.

“Moments like these are a heavy ordeal but we are never going to let ourselves be intimidated by them.”

Media reports aired amateur videos showing a man shooting several times near a station using a large weapon.

A police official said the two victims were Swedes.

Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers arrived at the scene and sealed off the immediate neighbourhood. She declined to elaborate on circumstances of the shooting.

The shooting came at a time of increased vigilance linked to the Israel-Hamas war which has heightened tension in several European nations.

At the same time, the Belgian capital has been the scene of increased violence linked to increasing international drug trafficking.

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