Thursday, 23 March 2017

High-speed driver in Antwerp forces shoppers to jump out of the way

A man who drove at high speed into a pedestrianised shopping area in the Belgian city of Antwerp has been arrested.
Pedestrians "had to jump away" after the driver entered the busy De Meir shopping street just after 11am.

Soldiers patrolling the area tried to stop the car but it went through a red light and drove off, police said.

No injuries were reported.

The driver was identified by the federal prosecutor's office as Mohamed R, 39, a French national of north African origin who lived in France.

The car he had been driving was later found near Antwerp's waterfront, police said.

Weapons were found in the car, including a rifle, knives and a container of unknown liquid.
Federal prosecutors, who would typically handle cases of Islamist violence, did not talk about the driver's possible motive.

They added, however, that they had been called to look at the case "based on all these elements and the events in London yesterday".

French President Francois Hollande also saw similarities to the attack in London, saying the driver in Antwerp had been "trying to kill people or create a dramatic event".

"Therefore we must continue to be on high alert and mobilise all our forces," he added.

The incident happened a day after Belgium held services to mark a year since the Brussels airport and subway attacks killed 32 people.

Belgium has been living under the second highest anti-terror alarm since then.

SKY    News.