Two Belgian Police Officers Wounded in ISIS-Claimed Machete Attack

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Officers stand guard near the police station where their colleagues were attacked.Photo: Virginie LeFour

An assailant was shot and killed after attacking two female police officers with a machete outside their police station in the city of Charleroi, Belgium, on Saturday, the BBC reports. According to Charleroi police, the man reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he began his attack. Both of the officers were wounded, one seriously; she was taken to a local hospital after suffering deep cuts to her face and neck. Her injuries are not life-threatening. A third officer shot the assailant, who later died as a result. The attacker has since been identified by Belgian authorities as a 33-year-old Algerian man, in the country illegally, who was known to police as a common criminal, but was not known to have had any ties to terrorist groups. ISIS claimed on Sunday that the attack had been carried out by one of their “soldiers,” according to The Wall Street Journal, but that does not mean there was any coordination between the group and the assailant.

Belgian prime minister Charles Michel has condemned the attack and expressed his support for the victims and other police officers in the country. Belgium’s terrorism-risk analysis agency, OCAM, is now investigating the incident. In addition, two locations in Charleroi were subsequently raided by authorities following the attack. This comes less than six months after 32 people were killed in Brussels by Islamist suicide bombers who were linked to the Belgium-based, ISIS-affiliated terrorist cell which perpetrated the Paris attacks last November.