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Belgium police charge Antwerp driver with attempted 'terrorist' murder

Police have charged the man who sped his car through a pedestrian street in Antwerp with terror-related offenses. The incident caused a scare in Belgium, which this week marked one year since the Brussels attacks.

The 39-year-old driver, identified as Mohamed R., was charged with "an attempt to murder in a terrorist manner, an attempt to hit and wound in a terrorist manner and arms infractions," the Belgian federal prosecutor's office said Friday.

The suspect was arrested Thursday after he allegedly ran a red light and drove at high speed down the busy Meir shopping street in Antwerp's downtown. Police said pedestrians had to jump out the way to avoid the car. No one was injured, but the events prompted authorities to bolster security in the city. Officers said they found knives and a rifle in the car.

An official at the prosecutor's office told the Associated Press that the man appeared to be intoxicated and as such could not be questioned until Friday.

French police sources said it was possible the driver was drunk and trying to avoid a police check and had no intension of hitting anyone.

Belgium has been on high alert since March 22 last year when suicide bombers attacked the Brussels airport and subway network, killing 32 people and wounding 320. The country held remembrance services on Wednesday to mark the one year anniversary of those attacks

nm/kms (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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