Brussels fatal gun attack at Jewish museum

24 May 2014 Last updated at 20:43
A gunman has shot dead two men and a woman at the Jewish
Museum in the Belgian capital Brussels.

A fourth person was seriously wounded, emergency services said.
The attacker arrived by car, got out, fired on people at the museum
entrance, and returned to the vehicle which then sped away, Belgian
media report.

One person has been arrested and police are hunting a second,
officials say. Security has been tightened at Jewish sites across
Belgium.
Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said all Belgians were “united and
show solidarity in the face of this odious attack on a Jewish cultural
site”.

Belgian public prosecutor’s spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch told a
news conference that one suspect had been detained at the wheel of
his car, although there was no proven connection to the attack.
A second suspect was still being sought, who was thought to have
fled on foot, she added.

Belgium’s interior minister said all the circumstances pointed to an
anti-Semitic attack.

The public prosecutor’s spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch said a
second person was being sought.

Police say they have detained one suspect who drove away from the
museum around the time of the attack.

Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who was one of the first people to
arrive at the scene, said he arrived at the scene shortly after the
shooting.

“I heard bursts of gunfire, rushed here and saw the bodies on the
ground,” he said.

The gunman arrived at the museum at around 15:50 (13:50 GMT)
carrying a backpack and opened fire before fleeing in an Audi, local
media report.

They say one eyewitness may have made a note of the number plate
and given it to police.

Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur said three men and a woman had
been caught up in what he thought was probably a “terrorist act”.
“It’s clearly extremely serious,” he was quoted as saying, “and on
the Jewish Museum too, which isn’t a coincidence”.

Eyewitness Alain Sobotik told AFP news agency he had seen two
bodies in the lobby of the museum.

One was “a young woman with her head covered in blood”, he said.
“She was holding a leaflet and looked like a tourist.”
Interior Minister Joelle Milquet said everything pointed to an anti-
Semitic attack.

Belgium has a Jewish population of some 42,000, about half of
whom live in the capital.

Jewish community leader Julien Klener agreed the motive was
probably anti-Semitic: “The assumption, and it is an assumption, is
that it was someone who didn’t try to target the museum but the
adjective ‘Jewish'”.

A number of people were treated for shock after the shooting in the
central Sablon area of the city.
Mr Di Rupo expressed his condolences and support for the victims’
families.

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