A shooting in the Belgian city of Liège has left three people dead, including two police officers, according to media reports.
Belgium’s state broadcaster RTBF said that a man fired on police, killing the two female officers and the 22-year-old male passenger of a nearby car. The incident took place this morning near the Boulevard d’Avroy, a street near Liège’s city centre.
RTBF has named the killer as Benjamin Herman, a man who was on temporary release from prison. Belgian media also said that Herman was initially armed with a knife but then stole the firearm of a policewoman who was questioning him.
The attacker was shot dead by police after fleeing into the grounds of a nearby school and taking a cleaner hostage, RTBF said. He entered the ground floor of the building, but no pupils were injured.
Charles Michel, Belgium’s prime minister said on Twitter that Liège had been a victim of “blind and cowardly violence”.
“All our support goes to the victims and those close to them. We are following the situation with the security services,” he said, adding that the country’s “crisis centre” had also been mobilised.
Jan Jambon, Belgium’s interior minister, said on Twitter that: “our thoughts are with the victims of this horrible act.”
“We are in the process of establishing a picture of exactly what happened,” he said.
The working assumption of the authorities is that the act had a terrorist motive, RTBF said.
(This post has been updated to reflect the latest information from the Belgian police and prosecutor’s office.)
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