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Body of woman found at home of gunman in Belgian grenade attack

December 14, 2011 |  5:20 am

Police found the body of a cleaning woman on the property of Belgian gunman Nordine Amrani

REPORTING FROM LONDON -- The body of a cleaning woman was found in a shed at the home of the gunman who threw grenades and opened fire on shoppers in a busy square in eastern Belgium, authorities said Wednesday.

The woman was found shot in the head during a police search of the property of Nordine Amrani, the 33-year-old who launched an extraordinary attack in the Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday.

Two teenage boys and a toddler were killed in the assault, which took place in the shadow of Liege's imposing cathedral. A 75-year-old woman who authorities said had died in the attack was removed from the list of fatalities Wednesday.

Photos: Belgian grenade attack

More than 100 people were injured, local media reports said.

Amrani, who was armed with an assault rifle, a revolver and grenades, also died in the incident, apparently from a bullet to the head, local prosecutor Daniele Reynders said Wednesday. It remains unclear whether the self-inflicted shot was deliberate or accidental.

Amrani had a history of drug and weapon convictions and was already known to police, who had summoned him for questioning on an unspecified matter Tuesday morning, officials said.

Authorities have not pinpointed a motive for the attack, but have ruled out ideological terrorism.

Amrani flung at least three grenades that exploded at a busy stop in the square, then sprayed the crowd with bullets. Video footage showed panicked bystanders screaming and fleeing for safety.

Such major gun violence in Belgium is rare. The country's king and queen and newly installed prime minister visited the site after the assault to pay their respects.


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Photo: A woman lays flowers Wednesday at a makeshift memorial to victims of a gun-and-grenade attack in the Belgian city of Liege. Credit: Philippe Huguen / AFP/Getty Images