A man slashed a policewoman’s face with a machete and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ before her fellow officer gunned him down in a chilling ‘terror’ attack.
The attacker reportedly walked up to two policewomen at the entrance of the police station in the Belgian city of Charleroi just before 4pm, pulled a machete from his bag and hacked at the officer.
After slamming the machete into the face of one officer, he then turned to another and began swinging the massive blade at her.
A third female officer raced to the front desk and then blasted the attacker in the chest and leg – knocking him to the ground.
Emergency crews then raced to the scene and began treating the policewomen – one of who was left with massive, deep cuts to her face.
Her colleague was only slightly injured but the attacker, who has not been named, died later in hospital.
Prime Minister Charles Michel’s spokesman said he was “closely monitoring” the situation and will meet tomorrow with security services.
He added that early indications for the motive are “very much towards a terrorist attack”.
A police spokesman told a press conference: “It’s a sad thing. Our hearts go out to the two cops involved.
2 policières blessées par machette devant hôtel de police par auteur criant Allah Ouhakbar. Individu abattu mais vivant #PoliceCharleroi
— Police Charleroi (@PoliceCharleroi) August 6, 2016
“Our thoughts also go out to the officer who had to pull her gun. For her this is not easy.”
Police in Charleroi tweeted: “Two police officers injured by machete by someone shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
Later they added: “The death of the assailant with a machete is confirmed. The two colleagues are out of danger. Thanks for the support.”
Very little is known about the knifeman, but it appears he wanted to attack multiple people, reports VTM NEWS journalist Nathalie Dyck.
Fortunately, he had to pass through an external checkpoint before he could enter the police station – a security measure put in place after the nation’s threat level was raised in the wake of the wave of bomb attacks that hit Belgium.
Paul Magnette, mayor of the city in southern Belgium, said the checkpoint succeeded in preventing the attacker from reaching the building and causing more havoc.
The mayor said that in the wake of the attack, Belgian authorities are discussing whether security for police facilities and officers should be beefed up further.
Le décès de l’agresseur à la machette est confirmé. Les deux collègues sont hors de danger. Merci pour le soutien #PoliceCharleroi
— Police Charleroi (@PoliceCharleroi) August 6, 2016
A witness told RTL that he heard gunshots at the scene and there was an ambulance at the scene.
Another, who asked not to be named, told of the moment he heard the hero police officer open fire on the crazed machete attacker.
He said: “Suddenly we heard five or six shots. About thirty seconds later three more shots.”
The identity of the savage attacker has not yet been revealed.
Belgian politician Jan Jambon tweeted: “Despicable act in Charleroi. All my support to the two wounded policemen, their colleagues and family members.”
Just last month the Belgian PM said that Belgium should be vigilant for “new methods of terrorism” – but added that the country’s terror threat level would not be raised as there was no “concrete and precise threat” of a terror attack on Belgian soil.
Last weekend, a 33-year-old man identified only as Nourredine H. was arrested on charges of participating in a terrorist group and planning “terrorist murders” following searches in the city of Liege and the Mons region of Belgium.
European cities remain on high alert following a spate of terror attacks including the Nice atrocity which left 84 people dead on Bastille Day.
Ik veroordeel de aanval in Charleroi. Onze gedachten gaan naar slachtoffers, hun naasten en de politiediensten. Volgen situatie op de voet.
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) August 6, 2016
Khalid el-Bakraoui, one of the suicide bombers who detonated an explosive belt at a Belgian Metro station – killing 14 – is thought to have rented a flat at Charleroi which was used as a rendeszvous by the Belgian cell taking part in the Paris attacks.
Traces were found in the Rue du Fort flat in Charleroi of both Abdeslam brothers and Stade de France bomber Bilal Hadfi, as well as suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Chakib Akrouh, who both died during a raid by Paris police five days after the attacks.
In June a police officer and his wife were stabbed to death in Magnanville, France.
The killer, who pledged allegiance to ISIS, brutally slaughtered police chief Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and his wife at their home last night.
In July a 17-year-old Afghan refugee seriously injured five people with a knife and hatchet on a train near Würzburg in Germany. The attacker was shot dead when he attacked police officers
On July 24 a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside a wine bar in Ansbach, Germany, 15 people were injured 15, four seriously.
He recorded videos showing him pledging allegiance to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Two days later a priest’s was murdered and four nuns were taken hostage in a church in Rouen, France.
The two terrorists were shot dead.
Father Jacques Hamel, 85, was made to get to his knees before he was brutally butchered at the Church of the Gambetta in Normandy today, says a nun who escaped the attack.
His two murderers – one of whom has been named as 19-year-old Adel Kermiche – captured the slaying on a mobile phone, according to Sister Danielle, who was one of several worshippers taken hostage during morning mass.
On March 22 three coordinated suicide bombings killed 32 people and injured 300. Two of them took place at Brussels Airport in Zaventem and one was at Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.