A car ploughed into a crowd of early morning carnival-goers in Belgium on Sunday, killing six people and injuring dozens of others, authorities said.
The tragedy took place just after 5:00 am (0400 GMT) at the carnival of Strepy-Bracquegnies, a district of the former industrial town of La Louviere.
The main suspects, who were arrested, were born in 1988 and 1990, he said, adding that terrorism was not at this stage considered a motive.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo deplored the “horrible news” on Twitter, saying “a community gathering to celebrate has been hit in the heart.”
Belgian towns and villages host many street carnivals around the season of Lent, with the parades in Binche and Alost the most known internationally.
Like Binche, the carnival of Strepy-Bracquegnies involves participants dressed up as “Gilles”, comical figures who are “called out” to the parade in the early hours.
“I turned around and saw a car running into the troop. It came very fast and didn’t brake. It continued and it took a girl 100 metres further,” he said.
The car came “at high speed” and the driver of the vehicle ploughed into the group and “pulverised a significant number of people,” he said.
Recently, a similar tragedy took place in neighbouring Germany, when a man in February 2020 rammed his car through a carnival procession, injuring dozens of bystanders including children.
German towns had seen several such attacks since, with most carried out by people who were found to have psychological issues.