Tuesday, October 17, 2023
By
Web Desk

Shooting in Belgian capital kills 2 Swedish nationals; suspect at large

Official says investigation had been opened after shooting in Brussels as motive of gunman was yet to be ascertained.

By
Web Desk
Police set a perimeter at the site of a shooting incident in the Ieperlaan — Boulevard d’Ypres, in Brussels, on October 16, 2023. – AFP
Police set a perimeter at the site of a shooting incident in the Ieperlaan — Boulevard d’Ypres, in Brussels, on October 16, 2023. – AFP

  • Officials start an investigation into shooting.
  • Belgian PM condemns a harrowing attack.
  • The suspect was reported to be at large.


At least two Swedish nationals were shot in Belgium's capital Brussels Monday with an automatic rifle as the suspect was reported to be at large, prosecutors said as videos from the scene were also shared by a local newspaper.

The video Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws shows an armed suspect in a fluorescent orange jacket fleeing the scene by scooter after using the rifle. 

The prosecutor's office leading on terrorism said an investigation had been opened as the motive of the gunman was yet to be ascertained.

The case is being led by the Brussels prosecutor, said Eric Van Duyse of the federal prosecutor's office. 

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.