Deadly shooting at Jewish museum in Brussels

Twitter @Nanotousch

Three people were killed and one seriously injured in a spree of gunfire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Saturday, officials said.


The attack, which came on the eve of national and European Parliament elections, led officials to raise anti-terror measures. Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo immediately expressed support for the Jewish community. “All Belgians are united,” he said.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who was in the vicinity, said the scene “was terrible and left me shocked” as he saw two of the three dead lying at the entry of the museum, located in the touristy Sablon neighborhood.

According to RTBF, a Belgian broadcasting company, a person with a backpack opened fire then fled.

"He came, he shot and he left,” Home Affairs Minister Joëlle Milquet told FRANCE 24 Brussels correspondent Méabh McMahon.

Milquet also announced that anti-terror measures had been immediately heightened. "We decided to apply to a maximum level of protection to Jewish sites,'' she said.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Ingrid Van Daele confirmed the casualties. She added that investigators were still on the scene gathering details, and that it was too soon to say whether it was an anti-Semitic attack.

However, Reynders said that “you cannot help to think that when we see a Jewish museum, you think of an anti-Semitic act. But the investigation will have to show the causes.”

Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur said police had a good lead for a suspect, but refused to elaborate due to the sensitivity of the case.

Police cordoned off several streets around the museum with blue-and-white police tape, and numerous ambulances and police vans were at the scene. The museum is located in the heart of the Sablon district, which is home to the city's top antique dealers.

(FRANCE24 with AP, AFP)

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning