Two Swedes shot dead in Brussels

Published October 17, 2023
People work at a shooting scene as Belgian police secure the area, in Brussels, Belgium, October 16, 2023. — Reuters
People work at a shooting scene as Belgian police secure the area, in Brussels, Belgium, October 16, 2023. — Reuters

BRUSSELS: Two Swedish nationals were shot dead in Brussels on Monday. According to a Belgian newspaper, it was likely that they were two soccer supporters.

Belgium hosted Sweden in a Euro qualifying match on Monday evening.

But the game was abandoned at halftime following the shooting. The Swedish players told UEFA that they did not want to play the second half, and the Belgians agreed, a Swedish broadcaster said.

A police spokesperson confirmed that two people had been killed in a shooting incident near the centre of the Belgian capital.

A spokesperson for Brussels police declined to give any other details concerning the victims or any possible motive.

Video footage posted on the newspaper’s website showed a man in an orange jacket on a scooter at a street intersection with a rifle first firing two shots, then three more, then running into a building, firing two more shots, leaving, taking a few steps back again and shooting one more time.

PM slams attack

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo slammed a “harrowing attack” in Brussels that targeted Swedish citizens.

“I have just offered my sincere condolences to the Swedish PM following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels,” De Croo said on X.

“Our thoughts are with the families and friends who lost their loved ones. As close partners the fight against terrorism is a joint one.”

The Belgian federal prosecutor on terrorism cases launched an investigation into the attack.

The case has been taken over from the Brussels prosecutor, said Eric Van Duyse of the federal prosecutor’s office.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2023

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