Two people have died following a shooting on Monday evening in Brussels, near Place Sainctelette. Shots were fired at around 19:15 next to Boulevard d’Ypres.
Emergency services arrived at the scene in large numbers. Brussels residents are advised to rest “vigilant” and to avoid unnecessary journeys. Police are attempting to identify and locate the suspect, who is still on the run.
Based on images taken by a local resident, a man can be seen wearing a bright orange jacket and a white helmet, holding an automatic rifle, and climbing onto a scooter to flee the scene. He reportedly shot first at someone in the entrance hall of a building before firing at two individuals in a taxi. According to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws the two victims were from Sweden.
In a video posted on social media, a man believed to be the attacker pledged his support for the Islamic State and talked of “murdering infidels” and “avenging the Muslims”. A spokesperson for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said that there was “no indication” that the terrorist attack was linked to the Israel-Gaza conflict.
The terror suspect, has officially been identified as “Abdesalem L.” The suspect is believed to be a 45-year-old Tunisian national, residing in irregularity in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek, who was radicalised and shared support for extremism online. The suspects was known to law enforcement in Belgium and Tunisia.