Army and police gather at Genk stadium for new search in Jürgen Conings case

Army and police gather at Genk stadium for new search in Jürgen Conings case
© Belga

After a quiet past few days, military and police forces are organising a new search for the fugitive soldier Jürgen Conings on Wednesday, this time meeting at a stadium in Genk, a town near Hasselt in the province of Limburg.

The manhunt for Jürgen Conings has been underway in Belgium since 17 May, when Conings allegedly stole an arsenal of deadly weapons from a military barracks and went on the lam, leaving behind a note that said he “planned to join the resistance and may not survive.”

The search has involved police and military forces from multiple countries, but today’s smaller action is of note because it is the first time forces are gathering so far from Maasmechelen and the Hoge Kempen National Park, where previous efforts have been concentrated.

Dozens of soldiers and special unit forces arrived at the stadium in Genk on Wednesday morning, according to De Standaard, with over 25 army vehicles and federal police officers.

Belga News Agency reported that several vehicles left around 8:30 AM “presumably in the direction of As and Zutendaa,” east of Hasselt, towards the wooded area bordering the Hoge Kempen National Park.

Conings left a vehicle near that park when he first disappeared, from which four rocket launchers were recovered, according to De Morgen.

The Dutch-language newspaper also reported that police are increasingly beginning to suspect suicide. Last week, the Missing Persons Unit was called in, which is usually done in the event that police are looking for a body rather than a living person.

If you have been having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about someone else, contact one of the help organisations listed here.

You can find a timeline with our coverage on the search for Jürgen Conings here.

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