Isis claims responsibility for Brussels attack that killed two Swedes

AFP/The Local
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Isis claims responsibility for Brussels attack that killed two Swedes
Belgian Police patrol the Grand Place in central Brussels, following the shooting of two Swedish football fans. Photo: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a shooting in Brussels that killed two Swedes, saying the attack targeted Sweden for its membership in a global coalition battling jihadists.


"An Islamic State fighter carried out an attack against" Swedish nationals on Monday, the Islamic State (also known as IS, Isis or Daesh) said in a statement issued on the jihadists' news arm Amaq, adding that, "the attack comes in the context of operations called for by the Islamic State to target nationals of coalition countries".

The man, of Tunisian origin living illegally in Belgium, gunned down two Swedes and injured a third on Monday evening on a street, just before the start of a Belgium-Sweden international football match.

Identified in media reports as 45-year-old Abdesalem Lassoued, he was cornered and fatally wounded early on Tuesday, when Belgian police moved to detain him in a cafe.


The attacker had served a prison sentence in Sweden during the period 2012-2014, Swedish officials revealed on Tuesday.

In a social media post after the killings, the gunman had boasted of being inspired by the Isis group.


The Swedish foreign ministry said the victims were a man in his 70s from the Stockholm region and a man in his 60s living abroad. The injured Swede was a man in his 70s currently in hospital.

It advised Swedes abroad "to observe increased caution and heightened vigilance."

Sweden is among dozens of nations in the Global Coalition against Daesh, formed in 2014 after the militants seized huge swathes of Iraq and Syria.


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