The Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders (MR), mentioned Belgium’s solidarity with Canada and France on Sunday evening. Knife attacks of a terrorist nature were perpetrated in both countries over the weekend.
The head of Belgian diplomacy said on Sunday evening, “Once again horror struck in Edmonton, Canada and Marseille, France. We stand together with you and are thinking of the victims.” He posted his message on the social network, Twitter.
In the south of France, in Marseille, a man attacked two women within the city’s main station – Marseille-Saint-Charles – on Sunday afternoon. The victims were respectively aged 17 and 20. The first was stabbed and the second had her throat slit. The assailant was killed by the military. In the evening, the terrorist group Islsmic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack. The anti-terrorist section of the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office is leading the investigation.
On Saturday evening, in the Canadian city of Edmonton, the capital of the state of Alberta, an individual drove into a police vehicle. He then stabbed a police officer and fled the scene. In addition to the policeman who survived, four people were injured in the chase which followed. The suspect was arrested and a flag of the terrorist group, Islamic State, was found in his car. The knife attack was described as a “terrorist act” by the police.
Belgium has been the target of multiple terrorist attacks in recent years. The bloodiest consisting of two attacks, for which responsibility was claimed by IS, targeted Brussels Airport and the Maelbeek metro station on March 22nd, 2016. In all these killed 32 people and have been subject to significant media attention over the past 18 months. More recently, on August 25th, a man attacked members of the military with a knife in the centre of Brussels before he was killed.