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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 21:04 GMT 22:04 UK
Two die in Belgium 'race killing'
Site of the shooting of woman and child
The shootings took place in broad daylight in the centre of Antwerp
A woman of African origin and a young white child in her care have been shot dead in the Belgian city of Antwerp by a suspected right-wing extremist.

Earlier a woman of Turkish descent was shot and injured as she sat reading a book on a bench in the city centre.

Police later intercepted the man, and shot and wounded him in the stomach after he refused to put down his gun.

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

The 18-year old suspect is currently under guard in hospital.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said the youth had been armed with a high calibre weapon.

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt called for calm.

"These horrible and cowardly crimes are a form of extreme racism," he said.

"We have to avoid our society being sucked into a spiral of violence. The police and the judicial system will do all that is needed for justice to be done."

The killings follow an attack last Saturday 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



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