Belgium-Sweden soccer match halted following gunman assault in Brussels

Sweden supporters wait in the stands after the Euro 2024 group F qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden was halted at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, on October 16, 2023.

Sweden supporters wait within the stands after the Euro 2024 group F qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden was halted on the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, on October 16, 2023.
| Photo Credit: AP

Belgian police early Tuesday hunted for a gunman with suspected extremist motives who killed two Swedes with gorgeous viciousness earlier than disappearing into the night time. He created such concern that authorities shut down a Belgium-Sweden soccer match and held 35,000 followers inside for a number of hours as a precaution.

Eric Van Duyse, spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s workplace, stated the investigation was centering on “a possible terrorist motivation for the shooting” after “a claim of responsibility was posted on social media.”

“This person claims to be inspired by Islamic State,” Mr. Van Duyse stated. “The Swedish nationality of the victims was put forward as the probable motive.” Sweden raised its terror alert to the second-highest stage in August after a sequence of public Quran-burnings by an Iraqi refugee dwelling in Sweden resulted in threats from Islamic militant teams.

“At this time, no element indicates a possible link with the Israeli-Palestinian situation,” Van Duyse said, offering scant relief on a continent where many nations have increased their vigilance for fear of attacks linked to the Israel-Hamas war.

In Belgium, the anti-terror center said the terror alert in the capital was raised to its top rating of 4, meaning a “threat is extremely serious.” It previously stood at 2, which means the threat was average. The alert level or the rest of the country was raised to 2.

“I have just offered my sincere condolences to @SwedishPM following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo De Croo stated. He added on X, previously referred to as Twitter, “As shut companions the combat in opposition to terrorism is a joint one.”

As for the soccer match, Mr. Van Duyse stated, “security measures were urgently taken to protect the Swedish supporters” on the recreation within the nationwide stadium not removed from the schooting.

Over two hours after the sport was suspended, a message flashed on the large stadium display saying, “Fans, you can leave the stadium calmy.” Stand after stand emptied onto the streets stuffed with police because the seek for the gunman continued.

“Frustrated, confused, scared. I think everyone was quite scared,” stated Caroline Lochs, a fan from Antwerp.

Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden stated, “A horrible shooting in Brussels, and the perpetrator is actively being tracked down.”

Media studies aired newbie movies displaying a person arriving on a scooter in an orange fluorescent vest, dropping the automobile and instantly taking out a big weapon and opening fireplace on passersby. Apart from the 2 Swedes who have been killed, an area taxi driver was damage however his life was not in peril.

The attacker then picked up his scooter and sped off into the gathering darkness.

Even although solely two folks died within the assault, in comparison with dozens and dozens in extremist assaults in previous years in Europe, the return of a way of dread was fast.

“Horrified at the indiscriminate killing in the heart of #Brussels tonight,” stated European Parliament President Roberta Metsola. “Terror and extremism cannot infiltrate in our societies. People must feel safe. Hate will not win.”

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