Two female police officers and a civilian have been reportedly shot dead by a gunman in an attack on Tuesday, in the city of Liège, Belgium, local media says.
According to the Police, the man was heard shouting in Arabic, “Allahu Akbar” meaning God is great.
Prosecutors said the man followed and attacked the female officers from behind with a knife before taking a gun from them and opening fire.
The attacker also shot dead a 22-year-old man who was sitting in a parked car as he walked towards a nearby school.
He took hostage, a female cleaner at a school before he was killed by police. Four other police officers sustained injuries.
The cause of the man’s actions was not stated but the incident is being treated as an act of terrorism.
The gunman was temporarily released from prison on Monday where he had been serving time on drug related offences and that he may have been radicalized while in prison, RTBF reports.
Armed police officers with shields, helmets and bulletproof vests then arrived at the scene and “intervened”.
The man began firing at the officers in a bid to escape. Two police officers were shot in the leg, with one officer in a critical condition.
Two other officers received injuries to their arms before the attacker was shot dead, police said.
Confirming the incident in a press conference on Tuesday, the mayor of Liège, Willy Demeyer, said “physical and psychological support” would be provided to the families of the victims.
“Police were definitely the target of this attack. We will forever be at the side of the police officers.
“The young man who was killed in the vehicle was a pupil of the high school in Liège, he was going to qualify as a primary school teacher in the next few weeks,” Demeyer said.
Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel said he was closely monitoring the situation and expressed his support for those caught up in the shooting.
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