Prosecutors probe stabbing of police in Brussels | News | DW | 05.10.2016
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Prosecutors probe stabbing of police in Brussels

Federal prosecutors in Belgium are investigating the stabbing of two police officers in Brussels as a possible terror attack. Belgium's capital remains on high alert following terror attacks in March.

The assailant stabbed the two plain clothed police officers, injuring one in the stomach and the other in the neck, said a spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor, Jennifer Vanderputten. Police said neither officer had sustained life-threatening injuries. 

The attacker was subsequently shot in the leg. 

Prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said that the investigation had been passed to federal investigators because "we have reason to believe that it may be a terrorist attack." He said that he could not comment further on a running investigation. 

Public prosecutors later identified the attacker as a Belgian national, born in 1973, referring to him as "Hicham D". 

According to public broadcaster VRT, after one officer was stabbed in the neck and another in the stomach, the attacker then broke the nose of a third policeman who had arrived at the scene.

Poilce pictured in the area of the stabbing in Schaerbeek, an area of Brussels

Poilce pictured in the area of the stabbing in Schaerbeek, an area of Brussels

The individual then attempted to escape and another police patrol shot at him. "He was shot in the leg," Vanderputten said.

Brussels is on high alert after bombings in March killed 32 people at the city's airport and on board a carriage at the Maelbeek (or Maalbeek, for Flemish speakers) subway station.

Early on Wednesday afternoon, the 

city's Gare du Nord railway station was closed for an hour because of a bomb alert which turned out to be a false alarm. Rail operations resumed after bomb disposal teams had checked the area.

jbh/msh (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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