The Latest: Belgian premier says attack may be terrorism

The Associated Press

The Latest on the attack against two female officers in Belgium (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says “preliminary indications” suggest the attack against two female officers in the city Charleroi was an act of terrorism, but that authorities are still collecting information.

The prime minister has cut short his vacation in the south of France and will return to Belgium for a meeting Sunday of the National Security Council.

The machete attack Saturday took place at a wooden hut that had been erected outside the Charleroi police station to provide an additional layer of security.

Paul Magnette, mayor of the city in southern Belgium, says the checkpoint succeeded in preventing the attacker from reaching the building and causing more havoc. The mayor said that in the wake of the attack, Belgian authorities are discussing whether security for police facilities and officers should be beefed up further.

Belgium has been on a high state of alert since the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 victims. Many of the attackers, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, lived in Belgium.

Last weekend, a 33-year-old man identified only as Nourredine H. was arrested on charges of participating in a terrorist group and planning “terrorist murders” following searches in the city of Liege and the Mons region.


7:20 p.m.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says the identity of the assailant who attacked two female officers in the city Charleroi wasn’t immediately known.

Michel told RTL television he has asked the independent OCAM agency to immediately assess whether there is an increased threat to Belgian internal security.

Charleroi police spokesman David Quinaux says the attacker carried a machete in a sports bag and pulled it out as he arrived at a security checkpoint outside the city’s police headquarters in mid-afternoon.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said it wasn’t immediately clear if the assault, which he called an “act of barbarism” was the deed of a single person or something more elaborate.

“We don’t know if this is the action of a lone wolf,” Jambon told RTF television.


6:45 p.m.

Belgian police say a man who shouted “Allahu Akbar” while he attacked two female officers with a machete has died after being shot by police.

Police in the city Charleroi fist said the attacker was still alive after the attack in front of Charleroi police station. They later announced in a message on Twitter that he had died of his wounds.

They also said the officers are “out of danger.”

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel condemned the attack which happened as the country remains on high alert in the wake of the Brussels suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State group that killed 32 people in March.

“Thoughts go with the victims, their relatives and police officers,” Michel wrote on Twitter. “We are closely monitoring the situation.”


6:10 p.m.

Belgian police say two female officers have been attacked and wounded by a man wielding a machete and shouting “Allahu Akhbar” outside a police station in the city of Charleroi.

Police in the city said in a message posted on Twitter that the attacker was shot but is still alive. The attack occurred in front of Charleroi police station.

A police officer reached by telephone declined to make further comments.

The attack happened as police in Belgium remain on high alert in the wake of attacks which killed 32 people in March this year.

[Source:- Us news]