Belgian military barracks attack: ‘Hooded man’ tries to storm Flawinne Army base

The damaged car at the army barracks in Flawinne, Belgium

The damaged car at the army barracks in Flawinne, Belgium Photo: AFP

Soldiers open fire on assailant who rammed entrance barriers of Flawinne barracks, in Namur province of Belgium, before fleeing

(SOURCE)   Police have arrested an attacker who tried to crash a car through the gates of an army barracks in southern Belgium and fled in the vehicle after shots were fired.

An assailant, acting alone and wearing a balaclava, rammed the entrance barriers of the Flawinne barracks, in the Namur province of Belgium.

After failing to break through, soldiers opened fire at the attacker, who is reported to have fled. The car was later recovered at Belgrade, near to Flawinne.

A car pictured after a man attempted to drive through the barriers of the army barracks in Flawinne

A car pictured after a man attempted to drive through the barriers of the army barracks in Flawinne Photo: Rex Features

There were fears of a potential explosive device in the car, and bomb disposal experts have been dispatched in two vehicles, reported Le Libre, a Belgian newspaper.

Belgian prosecutors confirmed that several shots were fired, and no one was hurt in the attempted attack.

Police patrol the perimeter of the army barracks in Flawinne, Belgium

Police patrol the perimeter of the army barracks in Flawinne, Belgium Photo: Bruno Fahy/AFP

“If I look at it from an outsider’s point of view, it seems incomprehensible,” a spokesman for prosecutors in Namur said. “Why would you attack a military barracks? There are plenty of weapons there to strike back.”

EU and government buildings in Belgium have been placed under military guard after a spate of attacks.Two suspected jihadists, believed to be planning an attack, were killed in a police shootout in Verviers, less than a week after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January.

In May 2014, four people were killed in a terrorist attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels.

The suspect was a French man of Algerian descent, said to have spent a year in Syria.

Police and military personnel at Flawinne military barracks, Belgium

Police and military personnel at Flawinne military barracks, Belgium Photo: Virginia Mayo/AP

Belgium has been one of the largest recruiting bases per capita for foreign fighters traveling to join the Islamic State extremist organisation, and authorities have openly expressed alarm about what the recruits might do if they return.

A preliminary report this month from a UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries estimated 500 people have been recruited from Belgium to fight in Iraq and Syria.

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