Belgium has raised its terror alert to the highest number following the killing of two Swedish nationals in a shooting in central Brussels. The incident occurred on Monday and has raised the threat level 4 for the Brussels-Capital Region. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed that the victims are two Swedes, and the perpetrator is still being sought.
De Croo urged Brussels residents to be vigilant after the Euro 2024 qualifying match between Sweden and Belgium was abandoned with a 1-1 score. The federal prosecutor’s office has taken over the case due to the possible terrorist motive. The incident was claimed on social media, with the Swedish nationality of the victims cited as a possible motive.
The police did not initially confirm this information. De Croo expressed his condolences to the Swedish prime minister and the fight against terrorism as a common fight. The Swedish national football team was playing a European Championship qualifier against Belgium in Brussels.
Belgian police have requested that Swedish fans stay in the King Baudouin Stadium for security reasons after a match in Brussels. The match had been tied 1-1 after 45 minutes, with Sweden’s Viktor Gyökeres and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku scoring goals.
The deaths of the two Swedes spread at half-time, and the players of Sweden’s national team decided not to continue the match. Belgium, as the leader of Group F, had already qualified for next year’s European Championship in Germany, while Sweden cannot qualify directly.
The match was abandoned about 20 minutes after the second half should have started. The team and supporters were asked to stay in the stadium for safety reasons, as the alleged perpetrator had not yet been caught. Belgian EU Council President Charles Michel expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the deadly attack in Brussels. Verlinden, De Croo, and Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne went to the National Crisis Centre to monitor the situation more closely.