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Crime

Brutal murder of town mayor shocks Belgium

Alfred Gadenne was found with his throat slit in the town graveyard of Mouscron, on the French border. Authorities have said that a suspect has confessed to the crime, claiming it was an act of revenge.

The savage murder of a 71-year-old mayor shocked Belgium on Tuesday as authorities identified the body of Alfred Gadenne. A teenager has confessed to committing the crime as an act of revenge.

Gadenne was the mayor of Mouscron, an ancient city directly on the border with France. He was found with his throat cut in the city graveyard, which he locked personally every night.

State prosecutors told Reuters news agency that the 18-year-old culprit had turned himself in to police at the crime scene.

"I have learned with horror of the brutal death of Alfred Gadenne," said Prime Minister Charles Michel. "All my thoughts are with his family and friends."

According to public broadcaster RTBF, the suspect told police he murdered Gadenne because he blamed the mayor for his father's suicide two years ago after he lost his job at Mouscron's city hall.

Gadenne was a conservative politician but his death saw tributes pour in from across Belgium's diverse political spectrum, and from France, as Mouscron is part of the Lille metropolitan area.

es/rc (dpa, Reuters)

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