Belgian shooter killed 4th person before attack: minister

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Questions were raised as to whether the Belgian authorities could have done more to spot any signs that Herman was going to carry out such an attack.

The King is there with Prime Minister Charles Michel and is now being updated on the situation.

As Herman came out shooting and again shouting "Allahu akbar", he was shot dead by officers. He allegedly killed him on Monday evening by hitting him over the head with a blunt object.

Authorities say the massacre was ordered because the chief pointed authorities to the terrorists' jungle hideout.

"He continued on foot, attacking a parked vehicle where he opened fire on a 22-year-old man in the passenger seat". Officer Belkacemi was the mother of twins aged 13, who had already lost their father.

"It could have been because he had nothing to look forward to, because he also killed someone the night before, the guy's psychology and the fact. he may have been on drugs".

Liege prosecutors' spokesman Philippe Dulieu said the man crept up on the two officers from behind, before stabbing them several times.

The former inmate, who died on Monday, was killed about 35 miles away (55km) from the Liege attack, in the southern Belgian village of On.

The Liege attack which left three dead, along with the gunman, was a "terrorist murder", Belgium's federal magistrate said Wednesday.

"Armed with a knife, the suspect followed and attacked two police officers, and used their own firearms to kill them".

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-By Raf Casert in Brussels.

Prime Minister Charles Michel denounced what he called the "cowardly and blind violence" of Tuesday's attack.

"We are following the situation with the security services and the crisis centre".

Two other police officers were injured in a second firefight, but managed to subdue the attacker.

A senior official at the federal prosecutor's office said there were "indications it could be a terror attack".

Michel Firket from Liege city hall told The Associated Press that "beyond the attacker, who was shot, there are three dead, two police officials and a passer-by".

The shooter, Belgian national Benjamin Herman, also took a woman hostage during his rampage on Tuesday, and Jambon said she may have talked him down and helped to avoid more deaths inside the school. Two other people have been wounded.

A public prosecutor told a news conference that the man set upon the policewomen from behind with a knife, described as a box-cutter by RTBF, around 10:30 a.m. (4.30 a.m. ET) on a boulevard in the center of Belgium's third city, near the German border. Herman then took a cleaning woman hostage at a nearby school.

"There is absolutely no confirmation yet that the incident is terror-related", Stevens told the AP.

"We heard gunshots, then what happened is that people started screaming".

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