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3 killed, 1 injured at Brussels Jewish Museum

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 24, 2014 at 1:12 p.m.

BRUSSELS--Three people were killed and one seriously injured in a spree of gunfire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Saturday, officials said.

Three people were killed and one seriously injured in a spree of gunfire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Saturday, officials said.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who was in the vicinity, said the scene "was terrible and left me shocked" as he saw two of the three dead lying at the entry of the museum, located in the swanky Sablon neighborhood.

Reynders added that "you cannot help to think that when we see a Jewish museum, you think of an anti-Semitic act. But the investigation will have to show the causes."

Interior Minister Joelle Milquet told reporters that the shooter apparently parked a car outside before entering the Jewish Museum. She added the gunman "apparently fired rather quickly, went outside and left."

Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur said police had a good lead for a suspect, but refused to elaborate.

The mid-afternoon attack occurred in the fashionable Sablon area, usually clogged with tourists and shoppers on weekends. It consists of some cobblestoned streets with numerous antique shops, trendy cafes and museums, including the Jewish Museum.

The attack happened during a three-day jazz festival in the neighborhood, and came on the eve of national and European Parliament elections.

Police cordoned off several streets around the museum with blue-and-white police tape, and numerous ambulances and police vans were at the scene.

Viviane Teitelbaum, a member of the Brussels legislature, said anti-Semitic attacks reached a peak in the early 1980s but had dropped off before a recent rise in anti-Jewish sentiment.

"It has been a very difficult place to live" for Jews, she said, adding that many young people are leaving the country. She added some 40,000 Jews live in Belgium, half of whom reside in Brussels.

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