A judicial official who could not be quoted by name because the investigation is ongoing told The Associated Press there is “a suspicion of a terror attack.” The official did not elaborate.
“The two injured detectives and the assailant were taken to hospital,” police added. Le Soir said one of the officers was stabbed in the neck and died from his injuries.
Het Laatste Nieuws daily reported that the suspect had gone to a police station on Thursday morning warning he would kill an officer.
According to Belgian media, the attacker shouted “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great,” during the attack, which occurred around 7:15 p.m. local time.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo posted a message of condolences to the family and friends of the dead officer.
“Our police officers risk their lives every day to ensure the safety of our citizens,” he said. “Today’s tragedy demonstrates this once again.”
Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden said she is in contact with the Brussels mayor, police chief and security services to coordinate the response to the attack. “Such violence against our people is unacceptable,” she said.