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Terrorism Not Thought To Have Been Motivation Of Attacker In Belgium

While it still isn't clear why a man attacked a crowded square in Liege, Belgium, on Tuesday with grenades and gunfire, killing at least three people and injuring more than 120, authorities are saying that evidence indicates terrorism was not his motivation, according to The Associated Press and other news outlets.

We're also learning this morning that Nordine Amrani, who died at the scene and likely took his own life, apparently killed a woman at his home some time before the attack.

"The body found at the killer's property was that of a cleaner, reported to be 45 years old, who worked for one of Amrani's neighbours," the BBC writes. "Officials say the shed was used by Amrani to grow cannabis." He had previously been jailed for convictions related to drugs and firearms. The BBC adds that:

"Amrani had been asked to attend a police station on Tuesday for an interview in connection with [additional] charges against him. Instead, he took an assault rifle, revolver and hand grenades into the busy town centre square, close to the courthouse. At about midday, he threw three grenades at people waiting for buses then opened fire, sending hundreds of people fleeing in panic."

According to The Guardian:

"Amrani ... had been called in for questioning by police in a sexual abuse case. Officials said he left his Liege home with a backpack, armed with hand grenades, a revolver and an FAL assault rifle. He walked alone to a busy city centre square, then got onto a platform that gave him an ideal view of the area below, which was decorated with a huge Christmas tree and crowded with shoppers. From there, he lobbed three hand grenades towards a bus shelter that serves 1,800 buses a day. The explosions sent shards of glass from the shelter across a wide area. He then opened fire upon the crowd."

Belgium's Sudpresse writes today about why experts say Amrani fit the profile of a mass murderer.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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