The shooting comes at a time of increased vigilance linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war that has heightened tension in several European nations.
Two Swedes were killed in a shooting late Monday in central Brussels, police said, prompting Belgium’s prime minister and senior Cabinet minister to hunker down at their crisis centre for an emergency meeting.
It was not immediately clear if the shooting was linked to terrorism, or to the international uproar over the Israel-Hamas war.
Belgian authorities have raised the terror alert to highest level in the capital and second-highest level across rest of nation.
“A horrible shooting in Brussels, and the perpetrator is actively being tracked down,” said Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden, adding that she joining government talks at the National Crisis Centre.
Media reports aired amateur videos showing a man shooting several times near a station using a large weapon.
A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to reporters, said the two victims were Swedes.
European Championship qualifier abandoned
The Swedish national football team was scheduled to play Belgium at Heysel Stadium later some five kilometres away.
The European Championship football qualifier between Belgium and Sweden was abandoned following the attack in Brussels.
Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers arrived soon at the scene, and sealed off the immediate neighbourhood. She declined to elaborate on circumstances of the shooting.
The shooting came a a time of increased vigilance linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war that has heightened tension in several European nations. At the same time, the Belgian capital has been the scene of increased violence linked to increasing international drug trafficking.