A man wielding a knife was shot dead Friday after wounding a soldier in Brussels in an “attempted terrorist murder” while in London counter-terror experts were investigating a similar attack on police near Buckingham Palace.
Belgian prosecutors said the attacker yelled “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) during the assault before being shot by a soldier in the center of the city which has been on high alert since last year’s carnage at the airport and on the metro.
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Overnight, police raided the suspect’s home in Bruges, northwest Belgium, with federal prosecutors opening an investigation into “attempted terrorist murder”, a statement said.
During the attack near the Grand Place in central Brussels at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT), the man rushed at several soldiers from behind and struck them with a knife, prompting one of them to open fire.
“The man was hit and died shortly afterward in hospital from his wounds,” the prosecutors’ statement said. As well as the knife, police found a replica gun and two copies of the Koran on him.
The assailant was a Belgian national of Somali origin who was born in 1987, authorities confirmed. He arrived in the country in 2004 and was granted Belgian nationality in 2015.
Although not known for any terror-related activities, he had an assault and battery charge on his record from February, the statement said. (AFP reported)