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CHARLEROI, Belgium (ChurchMilitant.com) - ISIS is claiming responsibility for the machete attack in Belgium Saturday, where two female police officers were seriously injured.
The attack began around 4 p.m., when a man approached a checkpoint in front of the local police headquarters where two officers were posted. The man immediately took out a machete from his sports bag and struck out violently toward the officers' heads while screaming "Allahu Akbar!" The Islamic terrorist was shot by a third officer on site after he had already attacked the two female police officers. The terrorist later died in the hospital from the gunshot wounds.
The man was identified as a 33-year-old Algerian who had lived in Belgium since 2012. Although he was known by police to have committed criminal offenses, he had never been known to have any terrorist links.
ISIS' propaganda arm Amaq News Agency has said the attacker was an ISIS "soldier" and that this attack was answering a call to target citizens in retaliation for the U.S.-led coalition fighting against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Recent crimes attributed to the Islamic State in Europe have been piling up in heavily guarded capital cities. This includes the July 14 attack in Nice, France; the July 24 suicide bombing in Ansbach, Germany; and the July 26 murder of French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel.
In recent months, the Islamic State has encouraged sympathizers to carry out lone-wolf attacks against civilians, which authorities have recognized are much harder to prevent.
Ever since the Paris attacks, Belgium has put hundreds of soldiers on the streets of Brussels, as they are still concerned the European Union could be threatened. But Belgian prime minister Charles Michel has said the government is taking measures to defend the country from further assaults.
"We know that ... from the moment some particular measures are taken in a certain place, that can create a temptation to carry out some actions in other places," he said. "We take that into account ... as much as we can."