Belgian knife attacker shot dead, police treating incident as terrorism

A policeman reacts on the scene after Belgian soldiers shot a man who attacked them with a knife, in Brussels, Belgium August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

Belgian soldiers shot dead a man in the center of Brussels on Friday evening after he came at them with a knife shouting Allahu Akbar (God is great), in a case authorities are treating as a terrorist attack.

The man, a 30-year-old Belgian of Somali origin, died after being rushed to hospital. The soldiers were not seriously hurt in the attack; one had a facial wound and the other’s hand was wounded.

Prosecutors said the man, who was not known for terrorist activities, had twice shouted Allahu Akbar during the attack, which occurred at around 8:15 p.m. local time (1815 GMT) just outside the city’s central pedestrian zone while the soldiers were on patrol.

Later Friday, a man was arrested outside Buckingham Palace in London, U.K. on suspicion of assaulting police and causing grievous bodily harm. Police haven’t suggested whether the incident may be terrorism-related.

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READ MORE: Buckingham Palace suspect wielded 4-foot sword, yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’: U.K. police

The Brussels case passed from local to federal prosecutors, who typically handle terrorist cases. A spokeswoman for the prosecution service said they were treating the case as one of attempted terrorist murder.

Brussels mayor Philip Close said the alert status, already just one off the maximum level, had not been increased.

“Initial indications are … that it is an isolated attack, a single person,” Close told reporters beside a street blocked by police.

In addition to regular police, Brussels streets are being patrolled by soldiers due to a heightened security threat level in the wake of militant attacks in Paris and the Belgian capital in 2015 and 2016.

In June, troops shot dead a suspected suicide bomber in Brussels‘ central train station but there were no other casualties, in what authorities treated as a terrorist incident.

WATCH: Police identify Brussels railway bomber

Click to play video 'Police identify Brussels railway bomber' Police identify Brussels railway bomber
Police identify Brussels railway bomber – Jun 21, 2017

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