Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Fearless hostage ‘saved children’s lives’ in Belgian terror killings

Police at the scene TWITTER TRAGEDY Two police officers have reportedly died after the siege
Andrew Cummings | 02 June, 2018, 20:28

The man who killed four people in the Belgian city of Liege this week carried out an act of "terrorist murder" and may have meant to cause more carnage, prosecutors said.

Federal prosecutors, for their part, said that there was evidence that they were dealing with "terrorist murder", adding that Mr Herman appeared to have responded to online calls from the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) to stab police officers and use their service weapons to cause carnage.

Witnesses and police sources told local media Herman shouted "Allahu Akbar!". He then seized a firearm from one of the policewomen and shot them both dead, as well as a passenger in a nearby vehicle who died from his injuries.

Herman attacked two municipal policewomen, ages 45 and 53, with a knife from behind and killed them with their own guns as they lay on the ground.

Benjamin Herman, 31, was on day leave from jail when he allegedly killed the man, whom he had met in jail, Belgium Interior Minister Jan Jambon said today.

Herman, 36, had been let out of prison Monday night near Liège on temporary two-day release and used the opportunity to hunt down Michael Wilmet, a former inmate he'd done time with, and beat him to death with a hammer, according to RTL.

Dulieu said that the attacker "then took their weapons".

"I answered yes. So he told me, 'I won't harm you, '" Darifa said. Belgian authorities have not said if they have evidence the inmate had vowed allegiance to IS or was acting on its orders.

Asked about reports that the assailant was radicalized in prison, Geens, the justice minister, said it "was not a clear-cut case".

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Authorities are still trying to determine whether he acted alone.

The police officers have been identified as Soraya Belkacemi, 44, and Lucile Garcia, 54.

The attacker also fatally shot a 22-year-old man sitting in a parked auto in central Liege, then ran away.

"The signs are pointing towards a terrorist act", prosecutor spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt told reporters Wednesday. Police killed the attacker.

The Islamic State (IS) terror group on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the deadly shooting attack in Belgium's Liege city, which claimed three lives.

Herman, who has shot dead after killing two police women and a bystander, had served several prison sentences since 2003 for violent robbery and assault, drug offenses and arson.

Authorities said Herman, who was on a leave of absence from jail when the attacks occurred, had several encounters with police since he was a minor.

Jambon, Prime Minister Charles Michel and King Philippe visited the woman in hospital, where she was being treated for shock. One video showed two police in body armour moving into position. However, Belgium's crisis center said it saw no reason to raise the country's terror threat for now.

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