Antwerp driver faces terrorism charges

A forensics expert stands next to a car which had entered the main pedestrian shopping street in the city at high speed, in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 23, 2017.
A forensics expert stands next to a car which had entered the main pedestrian shopping street in the city at high speed, in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 23, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS (REUTERS/AFP) - A man in the Belgian port city of Antwerp has been charged with terrorism offences including attempted murder after driving at high speed into a crowded shopping area, prosecutors said on Friday (March 24).

No one was injured in the incident, but the authorities said pedestrians had to jump out of the way and police found knives in the vehicle of 39-year-old Mohamed R., a French resident of North African origin.

He has also been charged with illegal possession of weapons.

French police sources said it was possible the suspect had not been trying to hit anyone, but was probably drunk and trying to escape a police check.

 

Belgian media said police found the suspect asleep in his car after chasing him through town and he was too intoxicated to be heard about the incident.

Belgium's federal prosecutors did not give any further details about the case.