Gunman with Islamist links kills three in Belgian city

Police at the scene

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The man who shot dead two police officers and a civilian in the Belgian city of Liege had killed someone before the attacks, the country's Interior Minister said on Wednesday.

The suspect was killed by police and later identified as 31-year-old Benjamin Herman, a Belgian born, who had been imprisoned for minor crimes and had left the Marche-en-Famenne prison on a 36-hour furlough.

Confirming that Herman was also believed to have killed an acquaintance 50km away on Monday night, Jambon told RTL radio: "There are signs he was radicalised in prison but is it that radicalisation which drove him to commit these acts?".

A gunman shot dead two police officers and a passenger in a vehicle Tuesday in Liege, a city some 100 km east of the Belgian capital Brussels, authorities said. Herman is alleged to have killed him on Monday evening by hitting him over the head with a blunt object.

At around 10.30am local time on Tuesday, Herman approached two female officers from behind with a knife, taking one of their guns and shooting them both dead.

He then fired on a parked auto, killing 22-year-old University of Liege student Cyriel Vangriecken, who was in the passenger seat of his mother's vehicle. The Liege Police has uploaded the photos of the two police officers on its official Facebook page.

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Belgian police officers have been targeted repeatedly in recent years.

JOHN THYS via Getty Images Police officers redirect traffic in the eastern Belgian city of Liege.

Belgium remains on alert after a series of jihadist attacks in the country and in France, where 130 people were killed in Paris in attacks orchestrated by a Brussels-based cell.

Herman then shot and killed trainee teacher Vangriecken as he sat in a auto with his mother. Did the attacker sneak up on two police-women before murdering them? The two police handguns had a total of 17 bullets.

Belgian Federal Prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt speaks during a media conference in Brussels, May 30, 2018.

State broadcaster RTBF said the shooting happened Tuesday near a cafe on the Boulevard d'Avroy.

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The justice minister, who oversees the prison service, said he felt "responsible" for Tuesday's bloodshed.

"He came out firing at police, wounding a number of them, notably in the legs". "He certainly was not someone who could clearly be qualified as radicalized".

But a senior official at the federal prosecutor's office told The Associated Press that "there are indications it could be a terror attack".

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel said he was following the situation closely and expressed his support for the victims of the shooting, reported BBC.

"Violence cowardly and blind", Michel said in a tweet.

Five people were killed, including the assailant.

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