Gunman at large after fatally shooting two people in Brussels

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Two people were killed in Brussels after a gunman opened fire in the city centre, police have said.

Footage shared online showed a man dressed in an orange jacket unloading several shots, using a large weapon. Local media outlets said the two victims were Swedish nationals.

The man was reportedly seen leaving the crime scene on a scooter.

The violent incident came ahead of a qualifier game for the UEFA Euros between Sweden and Belgium at the Heysel Stadium, some 3 miles away. Local outlets reported a nervous atmosphere near to the arena following reports of the shooting.

Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers arrived soon at the scene, and sealed off the immediate neighborhood, The Associated Press reported, though no further information was made immediately available.



Dutch-language newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN) reported that the perpatrator of the crimes had released a video on Facebook, in which he claimed to be a member of IS. The man said he had shot the people “avenge the Muslims”.

It comes at a time of heightened politcal and religious tension around the world, following the recent attacks on Israel by Hamas, and ensuing conflict. At the same time, the Belgian capital has been the scene of increased violence linked to increasing international drug trafficking.

HLN reported that members of federal law enforcement are being consulted about possible terrorist motives behind the shooting. The case is currently being handled by local police, but could be taken over by federal agents if it is deemed necessary.

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