Europe

Liege attack: Death toll rises to five

Nordine Amrani
Image caption Nordine Amrani had already served three years in jail for drugs and firearms offences

The death toll from a gun and grenade attack in the Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday has risen to five.

A 75-year-old woman injured in the incident died in hospital on Thursday, officials said.

Twenty out of about 125 people wounded are also still in hospital being treated, four in intensive care.

A former convict Nordine Amrani launched his attack in a busy marketplace in the Place Saint-Lambert, killing passers-by and himself.

Police later found the body of a woman, who had been shot in the head, in a shed belonging to Amrani.

The body was that of a cleaner, reported to be 45 years old, who worked for one of Amrani's neighbours.

Two weapons and a stockpile of ammunition were also discovered in the shed, public prosecutor Daniele Reynders told a news conference.

No message has been found from the attacker, she said.

Officials say the shed was used by Amrani to grow cannabis.

'Traumatising'

A small crowd gathered at the Place Saint-Lambert in Liege for a minute's silence at midday (1100GMT) on Wednesday, 24 hours after the shooting. Some people laid flowers.

Students at the Saint Barthelemy high school - attended by two of the victims - also joined hands and observed the silence.

One of the boys has been identified as 17-year old Pierre Gerouville.

"It's difficult to accept that it happened in Liege and you realise no-one is safe in this case - it could have been him, it could have been someone else," said one student, Sophie Bodart.

"It's traumatising to know - you see him in school but he will never be back," said another pupil, Robin Hames.

"He didn't do anything. It was an exam day and he never came home."

The authorities are still trying to determine what motivated Amrani, a Belgian citizen, to go on his killing spree.

Officials have ruled out organised political terrorism but have yet to determine why he opened fire.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPublic prosecutor Daniele Reynders gave latest details at a news conference

The BBC's Matthew Price, in Belgium, says they will now need to examine whether there was anything to indicate in advance that Amrani might have posed a danger to the public.

Police have said he was known to them for previous drugs and firearms offences and acted alone in the attack.

Amrani, a resident of Liege, had spent three years in jail for firearms and drugs offences, Ms Reynders said.

He was released on parole in October 2010.

There were no medical reports suggesting any mental health problems, she said.

Amrani had been asked to attend a police station on Tuesday for an interview in connection with charges against him.

Instead, he took an assault rifle, revolver and hand grenades into the busy town centre square, close to the courthouse.

At about midday, he threw three grenades at people waiting for buses then opened fire, sending hundreds of people fleeing in panic.

A 15-year-old boy died instantly, while the other victims died later in hospital.

Ms Reynders said Amrani had committed suicide at the scene by shooting himself in the head.

How the attack unfolded

1. Place St Lambert square: Nordine Amrani parks near Le Point Chaud bakery. He is armed with hand grenades, a handgun and an automatic weapon.

2. Approx. 1230: Amrani walks to a paved terrace above the bakery and throws 3 grenades at people waiting at bus stops on the road below. He then opens fire with the automatic weapon. Three people are killed and about 125 are wounded. Amrani then shoots himself dead with the handgun.

3. Fifth victim: The body of a 45-year-old woman is later found shot dead in a shed at Amrani's house on Rue de Campine.

More on this story