Two women and a man were shot and killed Saturday afternoon in an attack against the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in the center of Brussels, sparking a huge wave of reactions in the Jewish community and throughout the kingdom which is on the verge of important legislative elections.
King Philip "has learned with dismay the shooting that took place at the Jewish Museum of Belgium. He extends his condolences to the families of victims. The king is outraged by this act of violence that affects the Jewish community, "announced the Saturday evening the Royal Palace.
A "suspect" who admitted to being present at the scene at the time, was "intercepted" in late afternoon, said Brussels prosecutors, stating that a judge was hearing the case for "murder".
Investigators are looking for someone else the cameras have caught leaving the museum on foot after the shooting.
"Everything is implemented" to "identify and arrest the perpetrator or perpetrators of this tragedy," assured the Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.
The attack occurred shortly before 4:00 p.m. (1400 GMT) in the chic Sablon, a very frequented site by tourists mainly because of the presence of numerous antique shops.
"Our country and all Belgians, regardless of their language, their origin or their beliefs, are united together to face this despicable attack on a Jewish cultural center," said in a press conference the Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo .
Security measures have been brought to their maximum level around Jewish sites, conveyed the Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet.
The French President, Francois Hollande, has expressed "deep emotion" and "condemned with the utmost force," a "terrible massacre," expressing "full solidarity of France to the Belgian people."
The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, denounced a "hate and terrorist act." "Two years after the brutal murders in Toulouse (France), it is again an example of what hatred and anti-Semitism lead," said the European Jewish Congress.
The European Council of Ulema Moroccans, headquartered in Brussels, also wxpressed its "outrage" at a "despicable act" and expressed its "solidarity and support for the Jewish community in Brussels."
"It's a shock," told AFP, in tears, Paul Opoczynski, a member of the Jewish community in Brussels.
"It inspires great sorrow. We are a quiet small community. This is a cowardly attack, a terrorist act. It had to happen, "said the old man.
The collections of the Jewish Museum of Belgium reflect the life and history of the Jewish populations of the Netherlands and Belgium since the eighteenth century.