4 dead in shooting at Jewish Museum of Belgium
4 dead in shooting at Jewish Museum of Belgium

4 dead in shooting at Jewish Museum of Belgium

Belgium launched a nationwide manhunt Sunday for a lone suspect in a shooting attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum as the toll in the attack rose to four dead.

The attack, which came on the eve of national and European Parliament elections, led officials to immediately raise anti-terror measures and increase the protection for Jewish sites.

Video of the attack showed an athletic man with cap calmly walking into the Jewish Museum, getting out a Kalashnikov shoulder rifle and starting to shoot before briskly walking away.

Three people immediately died from the shooting rampage, including an Israeli couple. The fourth victim died Sunday afternoon. Twelve other people were being treated for shock.

“We call on the whole population to help identify this person,” Ine Van Wymersch, deputy prosecutor, said on Sunday.

No one has claimed responsibility yet for the killings.

“The pain is excruciating as one can imagine,” Rabbi Michoel Rosenblum, director of the EU Jewish Buildings in Brussels, said. “The fact that the gunman is at large is very concerning and I hope we will be able to take care of that ASAP.”

Joel Rubinfeld, the head of the Belgian League against anti-Semitism, told AFP it was a “terrorist act” borne from a “climate of hate.”

The head of Belgium’s Jewish Consistory told La Libre newspaper the museum had not received any recent threats. “Everyone among the staff are in shock.”

Ms Van Wymersch said they believed the gunman “probably acted alone, was armed and well prepared.”

Saturday’s attack occurred on the eve of Belgium’s nationwide election where voters across the continent are expected to select a new European Parliament.

Belgian officials had immediately raised anti-terror measures and increase protection for Jewish sites.

“The priority of priorities is to find this man. He must be arrested and stopped,” Joelle Milquet, Home Affairs Minister, said.

“We must reassure members of the Jewish community,” she added.


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