Belgium vs Sweden Called Off After Terrorist Kills 2 Swedish Fans In Brussels.
On Monday evening, a shooter killed two people near the centre of Brussels in what Belgium’s foreign minister called a “terrorist attack.”
According to police, bullets were fired at Place Sainctelette and Boulevard du Neuvième de Ligne shortly after 7 p.m., prompting patrols to rush to the site.
Two people were confirmed dead, said Brussels police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere, but more details were not immediately available. “The investigation is ongoing,” she said.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said: “My deepest condolences to the relatives of this cowardly attack in Brussels. We are monitoring the situation and ask the people of Brussels to be vigilant.”
He added that he had passed on his condolences to Sweden’s prime minister “following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens.” Sweden is playing Belgium in an international football match at the national stadium in northern Brussels.
Belgian’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said she was “horrified” by the “terror attack,” adding, “All necessary means must be mobilized to combat radicalism,” Lahbib wrote on X.
A spokesperson for the Belgian National Crisis Center — charged with organizing the security response in case of a terror attack — said it was monitoring the situation.
Belgium’s Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne and De Croo are currently at the National Crisis Center, near the prime minister’s office in the Belgian capital, the spokesperson added.
“Terrible shooting in Brussels,” Verlinden wrote on X, adding that the suspected shooter was being tracked down by police.
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said: “Following the shooting in Brussels, the police services are mobilizing to guarantee safety in and around our capital” in collaboration with Verlinden’s ministry.
Sweden was playing Belgium in the national stadium in northern Brussels, with hundreds of fans cheering on their team. The game has since been discontinued.
Due to recurrent Quran burnings, Sweden has been on the front lines of backlash from hard-line Islamists, including a spate this summer that prompted Stockholm to raise the country’s security threat level.