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Belgian hopes rise for breakthrough in 1980s killings

A confession by a former policeman might hold answers to the murders.

THE DEATHBED CONFESSION of a former policeman may finally solve the more than 30-year mystery of Belgium’s bloodiest and most baffling series of murders, officials said monday.

Assailants firing pump-action shotguns killed 28 shoppers and wounded hundreds more in attacks on supermarket car parks in the Brussels area between 1982 and 1985.

The gunmen, known as the “Crazy Brabant Killers” evaded police.

But hopes of a breakthrough have risen because the brother of a former police officer in the Flemish city of Alost told investigators the latter confessed as he lay dying in 2015 that he was the “giant” in the gang, a judicial source said monday.

The brother made the revelation in an official statement to police several months ago, the source said.

Ignacio de la Serna, who is helping head the investigation as the prosecutor general for the southern city of Mons, told AFP the information was being taken “very seriously”.

“There is now a big push to advance following these revelations,” the official said of the Brabant killings, named after the province in which they occurred.

Patricia Finne, a daughter of one of the 28 killed, welcomed what she called “the first really serious revelation in 30 years” when she spoke to Belgian media.

“I really hope that this will lead to dismantling the rest of the gang, whether they are dead or not,” Finne added.

© AFP 2017

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