The assailant who has been identified died in hospital after being shot. A man carrying a machete and shouting “Allahu Akbar” attacked two female police officers on Saturday afternoon (6 August) outside the police station in Charleroi. One policewoman was lightly wounded. The other one was seriously wounded but her life is not in danger.
A third police officer shot the assailant who later died in hospital of his wounds.
The federal prosecution announced on Sunday afternoon that the assailant has been identified. He is an Algerian, 33 years old, who has been living in Belgium since 2012. He is known to the police for criminal offences but not for terrorism.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Amaq, its propaganda tool. “The assailant at Charleroi is a soldier of the Islamic State who carried out an operation in response to calls to attack the population in the countries of the crusader coalition.”
Both the mayor of Charleroi Paul Magnette and the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel returned to Belgium after hearing about the attack.
The mayor condemned the attack and expressed his support of ”all police personnel who demonstrate exemplary professionalism to ensure the security of the citizens.”
The Royal Palace stated that it was deeply shocked by the violent attack. “Our thoughts are with the victims, their relatives and fellow police officers.”
Prime Minister Michel is due to meet the security services on Sunday. A spokesperson of the federal persecutor said an announcement on the possible identity of the perpetrator is expected on Sunday.