Molotov cocktails were lobbed at firefighters’ vehicles in the Brussels neighbourhood of Les Marolles on Saturday night, the capital’s fire service said on Sunday.
None of the firemen were injured, nor did the vehicles suffer any damage, fire service spokesman Walter Derieuw said.
The incident occurred at around 9:30 PM at Lavoir and Terre Neuve streets after the firefighters arrived there to put out fires in a van and garbage cans.
Four Molotov cocktails were thrown at two of the fire engines, while two shots were fired at one after the firemen had already alighted from it. Another two shots were fired at the other vehicle as it approached one of the fires. This vehicle was immediately driven to a safer location.
Police secured the area to enable the fire service to extinguish the fires.
The management of the Brussels-Capital Region Fire and Emergency Medical Assistance Service, SIAMU, will lodge a complaint and, if possible, file suit.
A police investigation will need to determine whether the firefighters were drawn into an ambush.
“Our men and women in the field are hoping for a strong signal,” said Derieuw. “It is perhaps appropriate to reclassify these acts as criminal acts and press charges for collective nighttime arson or attempted homicide.”
If the aim is to destabilise the State, their classification as terrorist acts could also be envisaged, the spokesman stated, adding that the firefighters expected everything possible to be done to identify the perpetrators so that charges can be pressed effectively.
The Brussels Times