BREAKING NEWS: Man arrested after trying to drive a car into a crowd on a busy shopping street in Antwerp
- Belgian police confirmed more security personnel were being sent to the city
- The car, which had French plates, was driven at high speed trying to enter street
- Scene has been described as Antwerp’s main pedestrianised shopping street
- Comes hours after three people were killed by an attacker shot dead in London
A man wearing camouflage has been arrested after trying to drive a car with French plates into a crowd on a busy shopping street in Antwerp.
Belgian police, who confirmed more security personnel had been sent to the area, said the car was being driven at high speed and that pedestrians had to jump out of the way to avoid being injured.
It comes hours after a terrorist was shot dead after a massacre outside Parliament in Westminster.
A man wearing camouflage has been arrested after trying to drive a car with French plates into a crowd on a busy shopping street in Antwerp
Belgian police arrested a man on Thursday after he tried to drive into a crowd at high-speed in a shopping area in the port city of Antwerp at around 11am.
A police spokesman said: ‘A vehicle with French plates has tried to drive at high speed into the Meir (shopping street).
‘A man in camouflage was taken away.’
Pedestrians were forced to jump out of the way of the speeding car to avoid serious injury.
He added the driver was later arrested and additional police and military personnel had been deployed to the centre of Antwerp, but did not give any further details.
The suspect was said to be travelling in a car registered in France and that it was a red Citroën.
He tried and failed to knock people down in the busy shopping area and fled the scene towards the city’s port where he was arrested, according to Le Soir.
The man, who is said to be of North African origin, was detained on St Michielskaai in Antwerp which is less than a mile away from the Meir, according to VTM.
OTHER ATTACKS USING VEHICLES
Yesterday’s suspected terror attack in London is the latest in a string of similar incidents across the world where extremists have used vehicles as weapons.
On Bastille Day in the summer of last year, 86 people were killed when a truck was driven through crowds enjoying fireworks in Nice.
Four months later, a copycat ISIS-inspired massacre took place in Germany when a terrorist drove a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin.
Twelve people were killed in the attack on December 19.
This year, a Palestinian lorry driver mowed down and then reversed over Israeli soldiers.
The attack occurred on January 8 and killed four people.
At least one person is feared dead in the Westminster Bridge incident, which comes on the anniversary of another deadly act of terrorism in the name of Islamic State in Brussels which killed 32.
ISIS’ propaganda magazine has regularly called on lone wolf attackers to use lorries and vehicles as deadly weapons.
In response to the terror threat, France is in the process of building an 8ft bulletproof wall around the Eiffel Tower aimed at protecting the iconic landmark from potential jihadists.
On the evening of July 14, 2016, a 19-tonne cargo truck was driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenage des Anglais in Nice.
ISIS fanatic Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was behind the wheel and after exchanging gunfire with police, the Tunisian migrant was shot dead.
Thousands had gathered on the seafront to watch the fireworks that night.
Eighty-six of them died and 434 were injured.
BERLIN CHRISTMAS MARKET
Anis Amri stole a cargo truck and killed 12 people when he drove through a Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin.
Among the dozen people killed in the ISIS-inspired terror attack on December 19, 2016, was the original driver of the truck Lukasz Urban who was found dead with a gunshot wound in the passenger street.
Amri was a Tunisian who had failed to gain asylum status in the country.
He was killed in Milan four days later after an international manhunt.
JERUSALEM SOLDIERS ATTACK
On January 8 this year, a Palestinian rammed a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers visiting a popular tourist spot in Jerusalem, killing four and wounding 15 people, in a shocking copycat of the Berlin and Nice terror massacres.
Shocking video from the scene shows the driver reversing back over the soldiers, trapping ten under his wheels, during the sickening attack on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged the attacker ‘supported’ the Islamic State group, though he provided no details on what led to the finding.
He said there ‘definitely could be a connection’ between Sunday’s attack, which killed four Israeli soldiers, and recent attacks in France and Germany.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
A Somali refugee injured 13 people when he rammed his car into a group of people outside Ohio State University in Columbus.
Abdul Razak Ali Artan was shot dead by the first responding OSU police officer and ISIS claimed through its Amaq News Agency that he had acted on behalf of the terror group.
After mowing down people in the car, he jumped out of his vehicle and attempted to stab more people.
ATTACK ON CANADIAN PARLIAMENT
Today’s terror attack on Parliament bears striking similarities to the assault on Canada’s Parliament in October 2014.
That incident also combined the use of a vehicle as a weapon with an attack on police – and was stopped from becoming much worse by the quick reactions of the security forces.
In the earlier attack, a gunman later identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot a sentry dead at a war memorial near the Parliament building in Ottawa.
He then leaped into a car and drove towards Parliament, still wielding his hunting rifle, before hijacking another vehicle and heading for the main building in the complex.
Zehaf-Bibeau – a 32-year-old jihadist – made it inside Parliament, shooting a policeman in the foot, before he was himself shot by the Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers and then killed by another officer.
Yesterday, on the first anniversary of an ISIS-inspired terror attack in Brussels that killed 32 people, there was terror on the streets of London.
Two people died when an Islamist extremist drove a Hyundai 4×4 along the pavement and bus lane on Westminster Bridge, mowing down pedestrians and cyclists.
Twenty-nine people were injured.
After crashing the car into railings outside the House of Commons, the attacker ran to towards the iconic building and stabbed a policeman to death.
He was shot dead by armed officers.
London Victims: What we know about the three dead and 29 injured
Three people – excluding the attacker – were murdered. 29 are injured. Seven critically.
Theresa May revealed today that among the injured there were 12 Britons, three French, two Romanians, four South Koreans, one German, one Chinese, one Irish, one Italian and two Greeks. The foreign victims are likely to all have been tourists.
- Pc Keith Palmer was stabbed to death by terrorist at gates of Parliament
- Aysha Frade, 43, was on her way to meet her two children, aged eight and 11, when she was killed on Westminster Bridge.
- Three French school children are in a critical condition last night. The students are believed to be 15 or 16 and attend the private Lycée Saint-Joseph in Brittany.
- The attacker also targeted 13 students from Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, Lancashire. The university said four were hurt. One had head injuries, another wrist injuries, while two were walking wounded.
- A Romanian couple on holiday are also thought to be among the injured. Andrei Burnaz , an engineer in his mid-20s, and Andreea Cristea , his girlfriend, 29, were caught up in the attack.
- Five Korean tourists were also reported to be among the injured, one seriously.
- One woman had jumped into the Thames to escape.
- A Portuguese man was also hurt in the rampage