In Belgium 2 charged with terrorism over machete attack

Three other people detained in the raids were released while another is still being held for questioning.

  • Published:
Police stand as they secure the area around a police building in the southern Belgian city of Charleroi following a machete attack on August 6, 2016 play

Police stand as they secure the area around a police building in the southern Belgian city of Charleroi following a machete attack on August 6, 2016

(Belga/AFP/File)
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Belgian authorities charged a woman and a man on Thursday with terrorism offences over an August machete attack on two policewomen that was claimed by the Islamic State group.

The prosecutor's office said 36-year-old Sabrina Z. and 37-year-old Farid L., who were detained in a series of raids on Wednesday, were charged by a Belgian judge who is investigating the attack in the southern city of Charleroi.

The assailant was shot dead in the incident.

"They were both indicted for participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation and attempted murder in a terrorist context," the office said in a statement.

Three other people detained in the raids were released while another is still being held for questioning.

Police seized several bladed weapons, some of them similar to the one used in the attack, when they raided eight homes in the Charleroi area south of the capital Brussels.

During the August 6 incident, a machete-wielding man assaulted the two women outside the main police station in Charleroi before being shot dead by a third officer.

He was identified as an Algerian living illegally in Belgium.

The IS-linked Amaq news agency said one of the group's "soldiers" carried out the attack "in response to calls to target citizens" of countries involved in the US-led coalition bombing jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

Belgian prosecutors have said the man, identified only as K.B., "had a criminal record but was not known for terrorism."

Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers struck Brussels airport and a metro station near the European Union headquarters on March 22, killing 32 people.

Those attacks were claimed by IS, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria and has claimed numerous terror strikes in Europe over the last year, including attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead.

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