Liège Gunman and 3 Victims Reported Dead in Belgium Shooting

Police at the scene of the shooting in Liege

At about 10.30am local time, the man approached the two officers from behind with a knife, taking one of their guns and shooting them both dead, the local public prosecutor told a news conference on Tuesday.

Herman, who allegedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the attack, then shot dead a 22-year-old driver as he left a vehicle park outside a nearby high school.

After killing both women, Herman walked down the street and fatally shot 22-year-old Cyril Vangriecken, who was sitting in the passenger seat of his mother's vehicle.

The attacker fled from the scene and took a cleaning woman hostage at the entrance of a nearby high school, authorities said.

A man has shot dead two police officers and a passer-by in the centre of the eastern Belgian city of Liège before being killed himself.

But, he added, it is up to federal investigators to determine if Tuesday's attack was terrorism.

The country's interior minister took to Twitter to express his condolences for the victims and their families and pledged that law enforcement would continue to monitor the vicinity, particularly the area near the high school.

Belgium has been on high alert since a domestic Islamic State cell killed 32 people in three coordinated suicide attacks in Brussels in March 2016.

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Liege police chief Christian Beaupere said it was "clear that the assassin's objective was to attack the police".

The Liege Prosecutor's Office declined to say if the incident was terror related, but anti-terror police were summoned to the scene.

A Belgian lawmaker said he had been on an anti-terrorist police watchlist after being radicalized in jail, apparently as a convert to Islam - raising questions about why he seems to have been freed unsupervized and expected to return. Belgium's prime minister couldn't confirm the report.

This is the same region of Belgium where "a French-speaking Belgian of Moroccan origin" committed a mass terror attack, killing six and wounding over 100 others.

Justice Minister Koen Geens said the assailant, who was later killed by police, was on a two-day leave from prison.

Yves Stevens of Belgium's federal crisis center said that security in Liege is under control, and that there was no reason yet to raise the national terror threat level.

Belgian officials confirmed a third person, a bystander who was in his auto at the time, was also killed.

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