The city’s main north-south rail line was temporarily closed, with the station re-opening and trains resuming by 3pm local time.
Meanwhile, in the Islamist terror-linked neighborhood of Schaarbeek two plainclothes police officers were injured after being attacked by a knife-wielding man. Flanders News reports the officers received wounds to the neck and stomach, and one of them is in serious condition. Although the attacker, who was described by an eye witness as being “strongly built and wearing a sweatshirt with a hood”, attempted to flee the scene he was shot in the leg and incapacitated by police.
While Brussels police initially said the motivation for the double stabbing was unclear, the Federal prosecutor has now said they believe it was a terror attack. The assailant has been named in Belgian newspaper De Standaard as ‘Hicham D’ — an Arabic forename meaning he who is generous — a Belgian citizen born in 1973.
The Schaarbeek district has frequently appeared in headlines for the area’s links to Muslim terrorism. Those involved in the March Brussels airport and railway station bombings were connected with a suspected terrorist bomb factory in the suburb, and the local mayor even went as far as banning as Muslim soup kitchen because he feared the volunteers were inciting vulnerable youths receiving their charity to fight in Syria.