COPS are hunting an ISIS-linked gunman after two people were shot dead near a football stadium in a suspected terror attack.
The victims – both wearing Sweden football shirts – were killed moments before their team’s Euro 2024 qualifier match against Belgium.
Police cordon off an area where a shooting took place in the center of Brussels[/caption]
The alleged shooter – who is believed to be linked to ISIS – is still on the run hours after theunfolded at 7pm around three miles from Brussels’ King Baudouin Stadium.
Cops in Belgium have now launched a terror probe following the shooting at Boulevard d’Ypres and the city has raised its terror alert to the highest level.
In a clip filmed moments before the horror, the alleged attacker says he’s part of terrorist group the Islamic State.
Speaking in Arabic, he claims responsibility for the shooting and outlines what appears to be a terrorist manifesto.
Police sources told The Times social media accounts linked toshow an interest in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories about Sweden.
Qurans have been burned in Sweden in recent months – leading to protests in Muslim countries.
A spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s office SAID: “The Swedish nationality of the victims is mentioned as a probable motivation for the act.”
The suspect had also shared a message on Facebook referring to the murder of a Wadea Al-Fayoume, a Palestinian boy who was killed in an anti-Muslim attack in the US.
Tonight’s match was stopped as panic ensued among supporters, who were barricaded inside the stadium.
By 11pm the evacuation began with Belgium fans leaving first before 700 Swedes in attendance were escorted away by the police.
Pictures show tearful Swedish fans phoning relatives and removing their jerseys as Belgium’s Crisis Centre says it plans to “safely escort” them out.
A second video shared online shows the alleged gunman in a fluorescent orange jacket arriving on a moped just three miles from the Heizel stadium.
The alleged shooter then chases several people into a building while firing shots from an automatic rifle.
It is believed he first shot at a van, with one victim dying inside.
Meanwhile, a third victim has been rushed to hospital.
No suspect has yet been arrested.
Cops are now urgently hunting the gunman and Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has asked residents to be “vigilant”.
He said: “My deepest condolences to the relatives of the cowardly assassination attempt in Brussels
“I monitor developments together with the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs from the national crisis center
“We are monitoring the situation and would like to ask the residents of Brussels to be vigilant.”
TERROR THREAT RAISED
Security services and ministers are currently gathered at a Crisis Center.
The terror threat level for the Brussels Capital Region has been raised to level 4 – with officials telling locals to “avoid unnecessary movements”.
Regions are placed under level four “when the threat is serious and very imminent”.
Photos show a smaller gun left behind at the scene.
One witness told HBVL: “There was soon a crowd, including the police.
“I saw the victim less than five meters away from me. A man about 40 years old.
“And then a black Mercedes Vito with two or three bullet holes in it.
“Inside was the driver dead. The injured passenger, half his body filled with blood, but conscious.”
It comes as Sweden were tonight playing Belgium in a Euro qualifier match.
The nearby stadium has a capacity for 50,000 fans.
Belgium has suffered a series of terrorist attacks in recent years – all of it related to Islamist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
Eight men have just been tried for their connections to the 2016 suicide bombings that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds at Brussels airport and astation.
In September, a Brussels court handed out sentences ranging up to life into eight men for the jihadist bombings in Brussels.
French citizen Salah Abdeslam and Belgian-Moroccan Mohamed Abrini – already sentenced to life in jail by France for the November 2015 massacre in Paris – were the highest-profile of six defendantsfound guilty of murder in July.
Abrini, who was one of the intended bombers but decided not to blow himself up at the last moment, was given a 30-year jail term.
The court ruled not to give Abdeslam an additional term after he was sentenced in Belgium to 20 years in 2018 over a shootout.
The attacks – near the headquarters of both NATO and the EU – were part of a wave of attacks claimed by the Islamic State group in Europe.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said an investigation had been opened.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that two people had been killed in a shooting incident near the centre of the Belgian capital but declined to give further details.
A UEFA spokesperson said: “Following a suspected terrorist attack in Brussels this evening, it has been decided, after consultation with the two teams and the local police authorities, that the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden is abandoned. Further communication will be made in due course.”
Swedish fans inside the King Baudouin Stadium[/caption]
Fans were seen calling terrified relatives[/caption]Leave a comment