A knife-wielding man has been shot dead in the center of Brussels after authorities said he attacked a group of soldiers.
The prosecutor’s office confirmed the soldiers shot and killed the man in the Belgian capital. The incident is being treated as a terrorist attack.
The man shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic) twice while carrying out the attack, according to the federal prosecutor’s office spokeswoman, Esther Natus.
“We do consider it a terror attack,” AP quoted Natus as saying, adding that the suspect had been neutralized.
“With the identity that we currently have, it is a 30-year-old man who is not known for terrorist activities,” Natus stated earlier.
The incident took place about 20:15 local time (18:15 GMT). Belgian prosecutors said that the attacker is alive but in critical condition.
The soldiers were lightly wounded in the attack. One was cut in the face, while the other suffered an injury to the hand.
Belgium’s anti-terrorism Crisis Center tweeted that the situation was under control.
The attacker was known to police for his earlier involvement in “minor offenses,” according to Flemish broadcaster VRT.
According to RTBF, the attacker was a Somalian Refugee.
Large numbers of police officers were deployed to the scene, which was cordoned off. The mayor of Brussels and the federal prosecutor also arrived at the scene.
The Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, expressed “all our support to our soldiers” in a Twitter post. “Our security services stay vigilant and we monitor the situation closely,” he said.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assault on police on the Mall near Buckingham Palace, the Metropolitan Police reported.
“A man in his mid-twenties has been arrested by police after they spotted a weapon inside his car. The quick and brave actions of both officers meant that the suspect was detained very quickly,” Detective Superintendent Guy Collings said in a statement.
While the officers were trying to arrest him, they suffered minor injuries to their arms and were treated at the scene by the London Ambulance Service.
The statement added that no other people were affected by the attack, which took place at 20:35 local time. The arrested man is yet to be questioned by detectives, and “it is too early in this investigation to speculate any further,” the statement added.
No others persons have been reported injured following the attack.
Queen Elizabeth was not in residence in the palace when the attack outside the palace happened.
The Telegraph is reporting that the palace was “on lockdown” following the attack, while the police have said it is too early to state whether the incident was terror-related.
The incident occurred just hours after a knife-wielding man was shot and killed in Brussels after attacking a group of soldiers while shouting “Allahu akbar.”