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Liège shootout: Gunman kills three including two police officers
The federal prosecutor has opened a terrorism investigation after a gunman killed two female police officers and a member of the public in the centre of Liège this morning. Several other police officers were injured. The shooter, who was then killed by police, has been named as Benjamin Herman from Rochefort in Namur province.
Herman had been released temporarily from Lantin prison in Liège province on Monday, where he had been serving a sentence for drugs and violent offences. It is thought that he had been radicalised while imprisoned.
According to Le Soir, quoting the Liège prosecutor, a man carrying a fake firearm attacked two police officers from behind with a knife. After stealing their service weapons, he fatally shot them. He then shot dead a 22-year-old passenger in a passing car before entering a nearby school, the Athenée Léonie de Waha, where he took a female cleaner hostage. A special police unit arrived and Herman attempted to leave the building while firing shots; several officers were injured. He was then shot dead. The hostage and the school's pupils were unharmed.
Prime minister Charles Michel said in a statement shortly after the incident: "I want to give my condolences and support in the name of the government to the families of the victims."
The area around Boulevard d'Avroy remains closed. The incident is being treated as terrorism, though the national terrorism threat level remains at 2. Anyone concerned can call 0800 94 000.
Photo: VIRGINIE LEFOUR/Belga