Grenade attack in Belgium leaves four dead, scores wounded

Belgian officials say the attacker had been jailed previously and was summoned for police questioning on Tuesday.

Thierry Dricot/Reuters
Rescuers evacuate injured people at the Place Saint Lambert square where a man threw explosives in the city center of the Belgian city of Liege December 13. The man threw multiple explosives towards a bus stop, killing four people including himself and wounding more than 15 people, Belgian news agency Belga reported on Tuesday.

A man armed with grenades and an assault rifle attacked holiday shoppers Tuesday at a central square in the Belgian city of Liege, leaving four people dead and wounding 75, officials said.

Belgian officials identified him as Norodine Amrani, 33, a Liege resident who they said had done jail time for offenses involving guns, drugs and sexual abuse. He was among the dead, but Liege Prosecutor Danielle Reynders told reporters it was unclear if he committed suicide or died by accident. He did not die at the hands of police, she said.

The dead also included a 15-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and a 75-year-old woman, she said. The La Libre newspaper reported that a 2-year-old girl was clinging to life.

Reynders said Amrani had been summoned for police questioning on Tuesday but the reason for the questioning was not clear.

Officials said Amrani left his home in Liege with a backpack, armed with hand grenades, a revolver and an FAL assault rifle. He walked alone to the central square. From a platform, he lobbed three hand grenades towards a bus shelter, then he opened fire.

He still had a number of grenades with him, Reynders said.

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