Shooting in Belgium linked to terrorism, prime minister says

Two Swedes were killed in a shooting late Monday in central Brussels, police said, and Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo suggested the attack was linked to “terrorism.”

“I have just offered my sincere condolences to @SwedishPM following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels,” De Croo said. He added on X, formerly known as Twitter, “As close partners the fight against terrorism is a joint one.”

It was not immediately clear if the shooting was linked to the international uproar over the Israel-Hamas war.

“A horrible shooting in Brussels, and the perpetrator is actively being tracked down,” said Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden, adding that she was joining government talks at the National Crisis Center.

Amateur videos, which was aired on numerous European media outlets, showed a man shooting a large weapon several times near the city’s center.

The Swedish national soccer team was scheduled to play Belgium at Heysel Stadium later in the evening, some 3 miles (5 kilometers) away.

Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers arrived soon at the scene, and sealed off the immediate neighborhood. She declined to elaborate on circumstances of the shooting.

The shooting came at a time of increased vigilance linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war that has heightened tension in several European nations. At the same time, the Belgian capital has been the scene of increased violence linked to increasing international drug trafficking.