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2 Officers Stabbed in Brussels; Case Treated as Terrorist Attack

  • VOA News

Police investigate the scene where a man stabbed two police officers, in the Schaerbeek neighborhood in Brussels, Oct. 5, 2016.

Police investigate the scene where a man stabbed two police officers, in the Schaerbeek neighborhood in Brussels, Oct. 5, 2016.

A man stabbed two police officers Wednesday in Brussels, and prosecutors said the case was being treated as a possible terrorist attack.

The plainclothes officers' injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

Speaking to reporters in Belgian capital, the federal prosecutor's spokesman, Eric Van Der Sypt, said, “We have reason to believe that it is terror-related.'' He provided no details.

The assailant, a 43-year-old Belgian national identified as "Hicham D.," was stopped by a second squad of police who shot him in the leg.

The website of Belgian Francophone daily La Derniere Heure (DH.be) said Hicham D. was a former military officer and worked in the Belgian army until 2009. He was known to Belgian security services and was referred to in multiple terrorism case files, DH.be reported. Hicham D. was suspected to have been in contact with militants who left to fight in Syria.

Belgium has been on high alert since 32 people were killed in suicide bombing attacks on the Brussels airport and subway on March 22.

In August, a machete-wielding man shouting "Allahu akbar!" (Arabic for "God is great") attacked and seriously wounded two policewomen in the southern Belgian city of Mons. The assailant was shot dead. Later, Islamic State claimed responsibility.

On September 7, a man carrying a knife attacked two police officers in the Molenbeek area of Brussels, but the officers were wearing bulletproof vests and suffered only bruises. The assailant gave no indication of his motives.

Some information in this report came from Reuters.

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