Brussels attacker had fake weapon, 2 copies of Quran

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Brussels, Aug 26 (IANS) A man who injured two soldiers in Brussels with a machete and was subsequently shot and killed was carrying a fake firearm and two copies of the Quran, according to a statement by the Belgian prosecutor’s office on Saturday.

Authorities were treating Friday night’s attack, which saw two soldiers being injured in an assault shortly before 8.30 p.m. on Boulevard Emile Jacqmain in the centre of the capital, as a terror attack, Efe news reported.

Investigators raided the house of the suspect, who after being shot by police was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the suspect was a 30-year-old Somali who arrived in Belgium in 2004 and had taken Belgian nationality in 2015.

The suspect had not been known to have a terror-related history, according to police.

He had shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) during the attack, witnesses said.

Authorities were treating the attack as an isolated incident and did not change Belgium’s terror threat level. The threat is currently at level three, the second highest, which indicates a “serious and real” threat, but not an imminent attack.

In June, authorities foiled a suspected terror attack on the Brussels central station, where a man was shot after causing a small explosion.

In March 2016, 32 people were killed and more than 300 injured in coordinated attacks at Brussels airport and the city’s metro.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel expressed his support for the country’s soldiers on Friday night.

“Our security services remain vigilant. We are following the situation closely with the Belgian crisis centre,” he said.

–IANS

soni/bg

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