A Frenchman has been given a life sentence for killing four people in an anti-Semitic attack in Brussels in May 2014. Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a handgun at the city’s Jewish Museum. Nemmouche spent a year fighting in Syria for the Islamic State (IS) group before returning to Europe to carry out the attack. A man who helped plan the attack and supply weapons, Nacer Bendrer, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
All flights in and out of Belgium have been canceled on Wednesday due to strike action, the country’s air traffic control has announced. The cancellation began at 22:00 (21:00 GMT) on Tuesday night and will run for 24 hours. Air traffic agency Skeyes said that there was “no certainty about the number of staff in a limited number of key posts”. A national strike has been called by three major trade union federations.
Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel submitted his resignation days after one of his main coalition partners quit amid migration disagreements. Michel lost support from the nationalist New Flemish Alliance after signing a UN migration deal last week. Michel announced his resignation to Belgium’s king on Tuesday. The king will announce whether he accepts the resignation.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Brussels to march in protest of a UN migration pact signed last week. The march was organized by Flemish right-wing parties who believe the pact will lead to an increase in migration. Police deployed water cannons and tear gas. Left-wing counter protests drew about 1,000 demonstrators.
The Belgian government lost its majority in Parliament following its decision to join the UN migration pact in July. Prime Minister Charles Michel said he will lead the remaining minority to ‘ensure stability.’ The party’s largest coalition partner the right-wing Flemish party N-VA left the government. N-VA ministers were replaced by other coalition members.
A gunman has killed two police officers and a passerby before being shot dead in the center of the Belgian city of Liège, public broadcaster RTBF has said. The gunman took a cleaner hostage at a nearby school before police shot him. Reports said the man shouted Allahu Akbar – God is greatest in Arabic. The national anti-terrorist crisis center said it is monitoring the situation, and terrorism could not be excluded as a motive though it was also looking into other possible reasons.
At Brussels Central Station, Belgium, armed officers shot the suspect of a small explosion which was carried out on Tuesday, an incident they described as a terrorist attack. The apparent attack left no casualties except for the suspect. Authorities have said that the man who they believed to have carried out the attack is dead but declined to identify him.