Victims of terror attacks warned of deadline for Belgian financial assistance
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    Victims of terror attacks warned of deadline for Belgian financial assistance

    An impromptu memorial for the victims of the 2016 Brussels attacks was held at Place de la Bourse. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    The public justice service has launched a call to victims of recognised terrorist attacks to register in order to be entitled to financial assistance ahead of a March deadline.

    “We are currently handling around 1,000 files and have already paid out €4 million in financial assistance,” Edward Landtsheere, a spokesperson for the FPS Justice, told VRT.

    The FPS Justice is launching a call through media to those directly or indirectly affected in recognised terror attacks to register as victims before 18 March 2020.

    “There are physical victims, but also relatives,” he said, adding: “But anyone who has suffered hearing damage, for example, is also recognised as a victim.”

    The service said that it currently knows about 500 victims who have not yet registered as such, with Landtsheere saying notices would be mailed out to warn them of the deadline.

    “The type of costs that can be reimbursed is very diverse,” he said, referring to hospital or funeral expenses, adding: “But also legal costs can be reimbursed.”

    Landtsheere said that victims who missed the deadlines would no longer be able to rely on financial assistance but could still receive legal guidance or other types of help.

    More than a dozen attacks dating back to 2012 are included in the list of recognised terror attacks, including those beyond Belgium’s borders, such as the Paris 2015 attacks or the attack in a hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako.

    Recognised terror attacks:

    1. 1. Brussels — 8 June 2012: knife attack against two police officers in Bekkant metro station
    2. 2. Brussels — 24 May 2014: shooting in the Jewish Museum
    3. 3. Paris, France — 9 January 2015: attack and hostage hold-up in a kosher supermarket
    4. 4. Bamako, Mali — 7 March 2015: attack on a restaurant in a busy street
    5. 5. Tunis, Tunisia — 18 March 2015: attack on Bardo National Museum
    6. 6. Sousse, Tunisia — 26 June 2015: mass shooting on a beach
    7. 7. Paris, France — 13 November 2015: attack in the Bataclan concert hall and neighbourhood cafes
    8. 8. Bamako, Mali — 20 November 2015: attack and hostage hold-up in a hotel
    9. 9. Brussels — 22 March 2016: bombings at Zaventem airport and at Maelbeek metro station
    10. 10. Nice, France — 14 July 2016: attack with a cargo truck on a crowded promenade on Bastille Day
    11. 11. Charleroi — 6 August 2016: machete attack on police officers on the street
    12. 12. Brussels — 5 October 2016: machete attack in on a Schaerbeek street
    13. 13. Istanbul, Turkey — 1 January 2017: shooting at a night club on New Year’s Eve

     

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times