Tags: EU | Belgium | Grenade | Attack

4 Killed, 75 Hurt in Grenade and Gun Attack on Belgian Market

Tuesday, 13 Dec 2011 11:12 AM

 


BRUSSELS — An armed gang was still on the loose today after killing four people with grenades and guns in an apparently random attack on a Christmas market in the Belgian city of Liege.

The dead include a 15-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl, and a 75-year-old woman. It is thought that one of the attackers has also died.

At least 75 others have been injured, including a 2-year-old girl who is in a critical condition

Interior Ministry official Peter Mertens confirmed the attack in Liege city and said emergency medical teams were called in from as far away as the Netherlands.

The daily newspapers Le Soir and La Capitale reported that the three assailants lobbed grenades into a crowd at the bus shelter and opened fire with guns. Belgian media reported that one of the two attackers was apparently killed, a man believed to be about 40 years old.

New reports said the attack began at about 6:30 a.m. Eastern U.S. time when the men lobbed several grenades at the bus shelter in Place Saint-Lambert, a busy downtown square. Witnesses reported four explosions and gun fire.

An unidentified man who was wounded in the attack told Belgium's VRT television network that "someone threw grenades and fired shots."

Police were on the scene quickly and sealed off the square. TV images showed blood splattered across the cobblestones.

Valerie Schaaps, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors office in Brussels, confirmed there had been explosions and gunfire, causing injuries.

The daily La Meuse newspaper said an attacker had killed himself.

Place Saint-Lambert is a busy crossroads. Every day 1,800 buses serve the square, which leads to downtown shopping streets. The Place Saint-Lambert and the nearby Place du Marche host the Liege's annual Christmas market which consists of 200 retail cabins and attracts some 1.5 million visitors a year.


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