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IS armed group claims responsibility for Belgium machete attack

Belgian police officers stand guard outside the main police station after a machete-wielding man injured two female police officers before being shot in Charleroi, Belgium.
Belgian police officers stand guard outside the main police station after a machete-wielding man injured two female police officers before being shot in Charleroi, Belgium. Francois Lenoir/Reuters
2 min

The Islamic State armed group on Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack that wounded two policewomen in the Belgian city of Charleroi.

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Quoting an unidentified source, the IS-linked Amaq Agency said Saturday's attack came “in response to calls to target citizens” belonging to countries in a US-led coalition bombing IS in Syria and Iraq.

The assailant, a 33-year-old Algerian with the initials K.B., died on Saturday after being shot by officers.

Belgium on Sunday opened a terrorism probe into the attack, the latest in a string of jihadist assaults in Europe.

“We have been informed by federal prosecutors that an investigation has started for attempted terrorist murder... given certain elements (in the case),” Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters.

Michel, who saluted the courage of the police victims, was referring to the attacker's cry of “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) during the assault in front of a police station.

Police spokesman David Quinaux told broadcaster RTL-TVI the assailant had “taken a machete out of a sports bag he was carrying and dealt very violent blows to the faces of the two policewomen”.

Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers struck Brussels airport and a metro station near the European Union's institutions on March 22, killing 32 people.

Those attacks were claimed by the IS armed group.

- with AFP
 

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