Man with knife shot dead after attacking soldiers in Brussels

A police cordon was in place in Brussels on Friday evening Credit: APTN

A knife-wielding attacker has been shot dead after targeting soldiers on patrol in Brussels in what police say was a terrorist attack.

The man shouted "Allahu akbar" as he ran towards a group of soldiers on Friday night, said Esther Natus, a spokesman for Belgium's federal prosecutor's office.

"We do consider it a terror attack," she told media.

The attacker was shot dead by security forces, while three soldiers suffered minor injuries. One was hospitalised but was understood to be only lightly wounded.

Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported that the attacker was a man of Somali origin aged around 30 years old, though that has not been confirmed by authorities.

Ms Natus declined to confirm the man's identity or say whether he had previously been flagged as a terror threat.

Police at the scene of the attack in Brussels. Credit: APTN

Belgium's anti-terror crisis center said that the situation was "under control" in a tweet.

Prime Minister Charles Michel said "All our support is with our soldiers," in a message posted on Twitter.

He added: "Our security services remain on alert. We are following the situation closely."

Pictures posted online showed a police cordon with paramedics working behind the line.

A man who lives near where the incident took place on Boulevard Emile Jacquemain said he saw the attacker lying in the street in the aftermath.

"I live right in front of the station. It was already blocked by police at the scene and there was a man lying on the ground.

"The police said he had been shot by soldiers," said Thomas da Silva Rosa, a public affairs consultant.