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7 Aug, 2016 13:43

ISIS claims responsibility for Belgium machete attack on police officers

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the machete attack in the Belgian city of the Charleroi on Saturday, in which two female police officers were injured, a news agency affiliated with the terror group has reported.

Two officers were assaulted, not far from their police station, by a man heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” (‘God is Great’ in Arabic), the authorities said.

The perpetrator was shot by a third officer on site and was taken hospital, but later died of his wounds.

He was identified as a 33-year-old Algerian, who had resided in Belgium since 2012, and was known to police for criminal offenses, but not for terrorist links.

A criminal investigation for attempted terrorist murder was opened following the incident in Charleroi.

"There are indications that the attack may have been inspired by a terrorist motive," the Belgian prosecutors said in a statement, adding that two houses were searched in the city as part of the case.

Earlier on Sunday, Belgian police arrested another man with a machete, reportedly of Turkish origin, this time in the eastern city of Liege.

READ MORE: Machete-wielding man causes evacuation in Liege, Belgium

Lone wolf attacks with machetes, knives and axes against police and civilians have recently become more frequent in Europe, with similar incidents reported in France and Germany.

They are mainly carried by asylum seekers, who had recently arrived in Europe from the Middle East or Western Asia, with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claiming responsibility for many of the incidents.

Thirty-two people died in Brussels in March when suicide bombers blew themselves up at the city’s airport and a metro station in the city.

Many of the jihadists responsible for the Paris attack in November 2015, in which 130 people died, were also residing in Belgium.