Belgian army base attacked by lone gunman

Belgian army mechanics walk from their plane after arriving at Brussels military airport. © Reuters
An attempted attack on an army barracks took place in Belgium as a masked gunman rammed a car into the gate and exchanged fire with soldiers before escaping the scene in a different vehicle.

The attack on the barracks in Namur was “very likely” to have been carried out by a mentally unstable person, RTL reported, citing police sources. The police do not regard the incident as a terrorist attack.

"For the moment there are no elements which would allow us to say we are facing a terrorist examination," a spokesman for prosecutors in Namur told a press conference.

"The theory of an isolated incident or one of a psychologically unstable person cannot be ruled out," he added.

The attack on the Flawine base occurred earlier on Monday.

"No one was hurt, it seems. The man is on the run," a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Namur told Reuters. "If I look at it from an outsider's point of view, it seems incomprehensible… Why would you attack a military barracks? There are plenty of weapons there to strike back.”

The area was cordoned by the police immediately after the attack and the Namur Police Academy has also been evacuated, as reported by RTL.

Later, police reported that the suspect had been caught.

The newspaper La Dernier Heure earlier reported that there were fears of an attempted bombing. A bomb disposal team was dispatched. But by the time the car was found in the nearby town of Belgrade, neither the bomb nor the suspect were to be found.

The base is home to 650 soldiers with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Commandos, a light infantry unit. However, when the attack occurred, only 50 soldiers were in the barracks with the rest of the unit taking part in military exercises abroad.