Fatal stabbings kill three at Belgian day care center

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Friday, January 23, 2009

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Two children and a woman have been stabbed to death by a knife-wielding man at a crèche (day care center) in Dendermonde, Belgium. Officials have confirmed that the deaths occurred due to knife wounds inflicted by an unidentified man wearing white face paint with blackened eyes, who arrived by bicycle at the crèche in East Flanders.

Dendermonde town centre
Image: Vitaly Volkov.

The Associated Press reports local prosecutor Christian Du Four telling a news conference, “We have three people dead and 10 in various hospitals.” The injured have been taken to the University Hospital in Ghent and other neighbouring hospitals.

The alleged attacker, said to be a 20-year-old, rang the doorbell of the crèche at 09:00 UTC (10:00 local), then ran upstairs when the door was opened. He fled the scene by bicycle and was arrested at 10:30 UTC. He was reported as being injured as he was detained. State broadcaster VRT described the man as being local, whilst AP reports Leene Du Bois, a Flemish government official, as saying that he had no connection with the crèche.

The crèche had 18 children in its care, with six adults in attendance.

Police arrested the suspect at a nearby shop. Reuters reports that Belgian media believe the suspect to be a psychiatric patient.