BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Belgians march to honour victims
Antwerp march
Marchers wore white as a symbol of solidarity
Thousands of people have joined an anti-racism march in Belgium following the killing of a woman of African origin and a two-year-old child.

They marched silently in the rain through Antwerp where an 18-year-old man shot the girl and her nanny.

Some wore white armbands as a sign of solidarity with the victims' relatives.

Anti-immigration party Flemish Interest condemned the killings but the victims' families urged the group not to use the murders to try and appear respectable.

At the head of the demonstration two children carried banners that read: "Stop racism; Diversity is reality."

Two-year-old Luna Drowart and her Malian nanny, 24-year-old Oulematou Niangadou were killed in the city centre on 11 May.

The gunman had earlier shot and injured a woman of Turkish descent as she sat reading a book on a bench in the city centre.

The 18-year-old suspect, believed to be a right-wing extremist, was shot and wounded by police and remains under guard in hospital.

Other attacks

The government condemned the attacks, describing them as an extreme form of racism.

Antwerp Mayor Patrick Janssens said the march was a show of solidarity with minorities across Belgium.

"This sort of event will live long in the memories," he told Belgian daily De Standaard. "Antwerp has been in mourning for the past few weeks... and I hope for a better atmosphere in the city after this."

The killings followed an attack in the city of Bruges, in which a black Frenchman was left in a coma after being beaten up by a group of skinheads.


SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Belgium
26 Mar 06 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Belgium
09 May 06 |  Country profiles



PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific