Police ‘neutralise’ Liège man who threatened to blow up his home
Monday, 17 February 2020
Rue des Champs in Awans, Liège, where police neutralised a man who was threatening to blow up gas cylinders inside his home (not pictured). Credit: Google Street View
Police have “neutralised” a man in the province of Liège who had threated to blow up his home after locking himself inside it on Sunday evening.
At around 7:00 PM, a resident of the Walloon town of Awans, in the province of Liège, called the police telling them that his neighbour was threatening to blow up one or more gas cylinders.
Thibaud Smolders, the mayor of the town of some 8,000 inhabitants, confirmed the man’s intentions on social media and said that the individual had been stopped by police.
Police evacuated all residents within a 70-metre radius of the man’s property, located on the Rue des Champs, a small road surrounded by fields along a motorway.
Local authorities called the federal police’s special POSA unit (charged with protection, observation, support and arrest operations) to establish communication with the unidentified man and attempt to negotiate with him.
Shortly after midnight, after the negotiations with the suspect proved unsuccessful, authorities decided to take action.
“The person in question constitutes a danger to himself and to others present. It was decided, in the presence of the king’s prosecutor, to intervene,” Mayor Smolders said.
“The person was neutralised and nobody was injured,” the mayor added in his statement, posted on Facebook.
The man’s motives remain unknown, with reports by the Belga news agency suggesting that the man was living in a state of loneliness or isolation.