Officials in the Belgian capital Brussels said that at least two people — citizens of Sweden — were killed in a shooting Monday evening as the suspect was said to be at large and speaks Arabic, AFP reported quoting the prosecutor’s office.
A video from the crime scene was shared by by Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws in which an armed person fled the scene after using a rifle.
According to the report, a video claiming responsibility for the shooting was circulating on social media, in which a man speaks Arabic.
The prosecutor’s office told AFP that an investigation had been opened however the motive behind the shooting was not yet determined.
The federal prosecutor in charge of terrorism cases was probing whether there was any possible terrorist motivation for the attack.
The shooting took place in the capital’s northern districts. Police had been alerted to the incident after 7pm local time (1700 GMT).
Police cordoned off the area where the shooting occurred.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo condemned a “harrowing attack” that targeted Swedish citizens.
“I have just offered my sincere condolences to the Swedish PM following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels,” De Croo said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Our thoughts are with the families and friends who lost their loved ones. As close partners, the fight against terrorism is a joint one.”
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said the attack was “despicable” and vowed unity against terrorism.
“Tonight, my thoughts are with the families of the two victims of the despicable attack in Brussels,” the European Commission president said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“I extend my heartfelt support to the Belgian police, so they swiftly apprehend the suspect. Together, we stand united against terror.”
Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers soon arrived at the site of the shooting and cordoned off the immediate neighbourhood.
The shooting in Brussels comes at a time of increased vigilance associated with the ongoing conflict situation between Israel and Palestine that has heightened tension in several European nations.
At the same time, Brussels witnessed increased violence linked to increasing international drug trafficking.__The News