Belgian police have shot and killed a suspected Tunisian extremist believed to be responsible for the murder of two Swedish soccer fans. The victims were shot after leaving a private party where they had been watching a soccer match. The suspect was found and the weapon used in the shooting was recovered. The motive for the attack is still under investigation.
On Tuesday, police in Belgium shot and killed a suspected Tunisian extremist who was believed to be responsible for the killing of two Swedish soccer fans the day before. The victims had been watching the Belgium-Sweden soccer match at a private party but decided to leave early. The suspect allegedly pursued them along a Brussels street, shooting them and then fleeing the scene.
Authorities launched an extensive manhunt for the suspect and eventually located him in the Schaerbeek neighborhood of Brussels. The 45-year-old man was shot by police, and the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered. However, the federal prosecutor’s office emphasized that while there were strong presumptions, there were no certainties that the deceased suspect was responsible for the initial shooting.
The attack, which Prime Minister Alexander De Croo described as a “brutal terrorist attack,” was carried out by a Tunisian man living illegally in Belgium. The assailant used a military weapon to kill the two Swedes and injure a third victim, who is currently receiving treatment for severe injuries. The suspect had previously been denied asylum in 2019 and was known to police for suspected involvement in human trafficking and as a risk to state security.
During a press conference, Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw mentioned that the suspect had posted a video online claiming to have killed three Swedish people. In the video, he allegedly referred to the Quran and expressed his readiness to sacrifice himself.
Belgium remains determined not to be intimidated by such attacks, as stated by Prime Minister De Croo. Security measures were heightened in Brussels, particularly around places associated with the Swedish community. The terror alert for Brussels was raised to level four.
The Belgium-Sweden soccer match, which took place at the King Baudouin Stadium, was suspended at halftime, and fans were held inside the stadium as a precautionary measure while the attacker was at large. The game eventually resumed after two hours.
Authorities have stated that there is no evidence linking the attack to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and further details may emerge as the case progresses..