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17th Oct 2023

Police shoot man in hunt for Brussels gunman after football match attacks

It has not yet been confirmed if the shot man is the person being sought over Monday’s shootings

A person has been shot at a Brussels cafe amid a massive manhunt for the gunman who killed two Swedish nationals and wounded a third person on Monday night.

The man was shot in a café in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood, local media reported.

Belgian prosecutors confirmed the incident but said they could not yet confirm whether the man was the attacker, the BBC reported.

However, a short time later the Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden said the shot person was likely to be the suspect.

Verlinden told Flemish public broadcaster VRT that the automatic weapon found on the arrested person was the same as the one used in Monday’s attack.

Brussels has been on its highest terror alert after the shootings which led to Belgium’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Sweden being abandoned at half-time.

The suspected shooter was named in local media reports as as Abdesalem L.

Monday’s shooting took place about three miles (5km) from the 50,000-seater King Baudouin Stadium shortly after 7pm local time – around 45 minutes before kick-off.

Shortly after, a man who claimed to be the gunman appeared on social media in a video in which he claimed to be a member of Islamic State (IS) and a “fighter for Allah”, Sky News reported.

One Belgium newspaper said a witness heard the gunman shout “Allahu Akbar” – “God is great” in Arabic – before the shots were fired.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow.