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Belgian Police Detain 1 Suspect in Deadly Jewish Museum Shooting

 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press
Image: Police officers and crime scene investigators work at the scene of a shooting near the Jewish Museum in Brussels
Police officers and crime scene investigators work in the cordoned off area of shooting near the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, 24 May 2014. A man has been arrested in connection with the deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, says the public prosecutor. Three people were reported dead after a shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels. Another person was seriously injured, the broadcaster reported citing fire officials. According to reports, an unknown person entered the museum, fired shots and then fled in a car. The museum and its surroundings have been sealed off. OLIVIER HOSLET / EPA

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BRUSSELS — Three people were killed and one seriously injured in a spree of gunfire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Saturday, officials said. Police detained one suspect who was at the scene and are looking for a second.

The attack, which came on the eve of national and European Parliament elections, led officials to immediately raise anti-terror measures.

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 entrance 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."

The three dead were two women and a man, and they were hit by bullets in the throat and face, said Ine Van Wymersch, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office. No further details were given.

Image: Three shot dead near Brussels Jewish Museum
Police officers cordon off the area of shooting near the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, on May 24, 2014.STEPHANIE LECOCQ / EPA

Van Wymersch said one suspect was detained after he drove away from the museum around the time of the attack. A second person suspected of being implicated apparently walked away from the scene.

Milquet said anti-terror measures were immediately heightened. "We decided to apply to a maximum level of protection to Jewish sites," she said.

Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo expressed support for the Jewish community.

"All Belgians are united," he said.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said that, even though it has yet to be established whether the attack was anti-Semitic, "we are acutely aware of the permanent threat to Jewish targets in Belgium and across the whole of Europe."

"European government must send out a clear message of zero tolerance toward any manifestation of anti-Semitism," Kantor said in a statement.

— The Associated Press

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