Swedish football fans
Sweden supporters wait inside the ground after their team's game against Belgium was stopped in the wake of an attack in Brussels. JOHN THYS/AFP

This morning, Tuesday 17 October, a man who was suspected of conducting an Islamist terrorist attack in Brussels, was shot dead by police.

On Monday night, an automatic rifle assault left two Swedish football fans dead, and a third man seriously injured.

Video footage, that circulated on social media, shows the middle-aged perpetrator driving a motorcycle and wearing an orange high-vis jacket.

The footage also depicted the gunman chasing a person into a building, until multiple gunshots are heard.

One witness at the scene, told reporters: "I was completely in shock and immediately started shouting."

Another source, who saw the attack, told reporters: "I didn't move. It was a man who came, pushed me, told me to stop running if I wanted to stay alive."

The men were fatally shot just three miles from the King Baudouin Stadium, where a UEFA qualifying football match between Sweden and Belgium was taking place.

Almost immediately after the attack, Belgium was put on its highest terror alert.

Tens of thousands of football fans were locked inside the stadium for hours and the match was suspended at half-time while the chaos played out on the main street, Boulevard d'Ypres.

A spokesperson for UEFA later relayed a statement that announced: "Following a suspected terrorist attack in Brussels this evening, it has been decided, after consultation with the two teams and the local police authorities, that the qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden is abandoned."

In a press conference today, Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, called the shooting "a harrowing act of terrorism" and prosecutors working on the case predicted that the victims were targeted for being Swedish.

Almost immediately after the attack, Belgium was put on its highest terror alert.

The Prime Minister later addressed his followers on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing: "I have just offered my sincere condolences to the Swedish PM following tonight's harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels."

"Our thoughts are with the families and friends who lost their loved ones. As close partners, the fight against terrorism is a joint one," he added.

In response to the fatal assault on Swedish nationals, Sewden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said: "Everything suggests this is a terror attack targeted at Sweden and Swedish citizens."

After hearing the news, Sweden's Foreign Ministry sent out text alerts to all Swedish citizens in Belgium, warning them of the terror threat.

The Foreign Ministry then released another statement that urged all Swedish tourists abroad to also be careful.

An overnight manhunt was launched and an investigation into the suspect found that he had posed a video online, admitting that he had killed Swedish people in the name of God.

This morning, after a witness informed police that he had seen the suspect in his neighbourhood, Abdesalem was shot by Belgium police officers in a café in Schaerbeek.

The 45-year-old is believed to be a Tunisian man who was living in Belgium illegally after his asylum application was denied by the state in 2020.

The prosecutor's office also reported that confidential evidence points them to believe that the man was inspired by the Islamist State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The automatic weapon that was found on Abdesalem matched the gun that was used to kill the men in Monday's shooting, said Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.

Despite Belgian police initially saying that there was no relation between the terror attack and the Israel-Gaza war, prosecutors later announced that they could not exclude that possibility.

Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne also revealed that Abdesalem was already considered a threat to national security, considering he was suspected of human trafficking and known to the authorities for being involved in people smuggling.