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    Aalst: police fire at armed man

    Police have arrested an escaped murder convict in Belgium's Most Wanted list. Credit: © Belga

    On Wednesday evening police fired at a man in Aalst (East Flanders). He was walking around the railway station area with a knife and a firearm. The Mayor, Christoph D’Haese, confirmed the information to Belga. The man was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

    Police had been alerted, during the evening, that a man carrying a knife was loitering around the station approaches of the Aalst railway station. The Mayor reported that upon swift arrival at the scene, “the police officers asked the man to surrender, but he turned his knife on them.” D’Haese went on, “The police noticed that the man also possessed a firearm. The police officers were then forced to overpower the man.”

    Taken to hospital, the individual is in a serious condition, but his injuries are not life-threatening. No police officer was injured in the incident.

    The police have not given any detail about the incident, and are referring it to the Termonde Public Prosecutor’s Office. The only statement from the Prosector’s Office is that the police action must be clarified as legitimate. We do not know the man’s motive for being armed or his identity.

    Two investigations will now start: one around the man’s actions and the other upon the reaction of the police officers, in particular to verify that they were acting in self-defence.

    The Mayor, Christoph D’Haese, says that this was indeed the case. He indicated, “I have spoken with the Chief of Police. All of the indications are, from initial information, that the police officers acted in self-defence. The man was dangerous as he was armed with two weapons.”

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times