Belgium faced a dark day on 29th May 2018, Tuesday when a sudden attack by a crazed person took away three innocent lives, two of them being two policewomen. This incident, which is branded as a “terror attack/murder” because of the behavior and activities of the attacker took place in the Belgian city of Liege.
The instigator of this attack, Benjamin Herman was an inmate who was on a two-day release from prison. On Tuesday, he attacked and stabbed two policewomen on duty from the back multiple times and once they lied on the ground helpless, he snatched their guns and shot them dead. Crossing the road, he shot another individual, 22 years of age multiple times with the same guns, making him his 3rd victim on the same day. Two others were reportedly left injured.
The two officers who lost their lives in the attack.
Later on, Herman entered a nearby school and took at least one lady hostage there, although the actual fact is yet to be known. The said lady is believed to have talked him down which according to the authorities saved many other lives. The authorities praised her for her bravery and presence of mind. But she is currently under treatment because of shock. Interior Minister Jan Jambon, along with Prime Minister Charles Michel and King Philippe visited the woman in the hospital.
The attacker was subdued by the police when he ran along the sidewalk trying to escape, but the police shot him down. It is said that he yelled the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar” repeatedly while continuing with his operation and hence many, including Belgian federal magistrate Wenke Roggen on Wednesday termed this attack as “terrorist murder” and linked Benjamin Herman with ISIS which is one of the most active Islamic terrorist groups in the world today.
Recent information has revealed that Herman had killed another man on Monday night. This man, who is supposed to be his 1st victim used to serve prison time with him. “He also committed a murder the night before,” Jambon told broadcaster RTL. It is believed that he killed the man on Monday evening by hitting him on his head by a blunt object.
The investigation into the whole incident along with the case of release of Herman is being carried out. “It’s really an isolated case. He wasn’t part of a network, he didn’t receive instructions from anyone else, so there is no need to raise the terror threat alert level,” Jambon said, adding that investigators have no precise information that any other attacks might be likely.
Memorial services to commemorate the unlucky victims and to express grief upon their untimely demise was carried out throughout Belgium today; the main service was held in Liege itself where Prime Minister Charles Michel and Interior Minister Jan Jambon joined local dignitaries and police.
Liege city police officers salute on Wednesday during a minute of silence for the victims of the shooting that took place a day earlier. (Stephanie Lecocq/EPA-EFE)
We too express our grief towards this wayward incident and pay condolences to all those affected by this incident. May the departed souls rest in peace!