Attacker reportedly yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he assaulted two police officers
Officers were wounded in the face and neck before suspect was gunned down
There are indications that a machete attack on Belgian police may have been intended as an act of terrorism, prosecutors said Sunday.
The case has been handed to a federal prosecutor for investigation and an investigating judge specializing in terrorism has been appointed.
The assault took place Saturday when a man armed with a machete and reportedly yelling “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is the greatest”) attacked two police officers at a police station in Charleroi, about 30 miles south of Brussels.
The man, who was carrying a rucksack, severely injured both police officers in the face and neck before a third officer gunned him down.
The attacker later died from gunshot wounds.
Prosecutors identified the assailant as a 33-year-old Algerian national who had lived in Belgium since 2012. No additional weapons or explosives were found in his rucksack, authorities said.
The assault spurred searches of two houses in the city overnight, prosecutors said.
The attacker’s name has not been released. Prosecutors said he was known to police, but not for terrorism.
Meanwhile, the ISIS-affiliated Amaq News Agency said in a statement released on Sunday that the attacker was “one of the soldiers of the Islamic State.” CNN cannot independently confirm the claim, and there was no other corroboration of the Amaq claim.
Tensions have been high in Brussels since terror attacks killed 31 people and wounded 300 others in March. Two bombs exploded at the Brussels Airport, and a third went off at a metro station. ISIS claimed responsibility for those bombings.