4 Gunned Down in 'Anti-Semitic' Attack on Jewish Museum in Brussels

Israeli Couple and Workers Slain in Suspected 'Terror' Attack

Deadly Attack: Policemen block streets near the Jewish Museum in Brussels after a gunman shot and killed three people.
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Deadly Attack: Policemen block streets near the Jewish Museum in Brussels after a gunman shot and killed three people.

By Justyna Pawlak and Robert-Jan Bartunek

Published May 25, 2014.

(Reuters) — Two women and a man were killed and one person seriously injured in a likely “terrorist” shooting in central Brussels at the city’s Jewish Museum on Saturday, officials said.

An Israeli couple was among the victims, Israeli sources told Haaretz. A third victim was a museum volunteer. The fourth was a museum worker who died early Sunday.

The city’s mayor said on Twitter that the killings took place inside the museum and that the attacker fled in a car. A suspect was later arrested but later freed after officials said he was not involved. A government officials said the attack was being treated as a likely anti-Semitic incident.

A spokeswoman for Brussels prosecutors office said there was no clear information about the perpetrator, although a fire brigade official said earlier that the shooter had driven up to the museum, gone inside and fired shots.

“Regarding the motive, we have little information. Everything is possible,” Ine Van Wymersch told a news conference.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders
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Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders

“We know that the location, the Jewish Museum in Brussels, makes one think of it being an anti-Semitic attack, but we do not have enough to confirm this is the case.”

Belgium’s interior minister, Joëlle Milquet, was quoted by the RTBF Belgian television station, saying: “It’s a shooting … at the Jewish Museum … All of this can lead to suspicions of an act of anti-Semitism.”

Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur told the BBC that the shooting was probably a “terrorist act”.

“It’s clearly extremely serious,” he was quoted as saying, “and on the Jewish Museum too, which isn’t a coincidence”.

Police cordoned off the area around the museum in central Brussels, a busy tourist district packed with cafes, restaurants and antique furniture shops. An annual outdoor jazz concert due to be held in a popular square near the museum was called off.

A man seen by witnesses driving away from the scene was questioned in connection with the shooting, but officials were not certain if there had been one or more perpetrators, or whether the man had been involved.

“The link between this person and the incident is not clear. The person does admit being present,” Van Wymersch said.

Paramedic checks on victim of shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
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Paramedic checks on victim of shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.


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