NEWS
14/12/2011 03:24 GMT | Updated 12/02/2012 05:12 GMT

Liege Grenade Attack: Woman Found Dead At Home Of Gunman, Nordine Amrani

The attacker who killed at least four people when he opened fire on a Christmas market in Liège, Belgium, also murdered a cleaning woman before the rampage, police have confirmed.

Police said the corpse of the woman was discovered at a garage that the attacker, Nordine Amrani, 33, used to grow marijuana and keep his weapons.

The 45-year-old woman was shot in the head on Tuesday before Amrani travelled to Liège to carry out his attack.

At least four people died and around 122 were injured after Amrani fired shots and threw grenades in the crowded town square.

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Amrani, who had previously been convicted on drugs and gun offences and had spent time in prison, was expected to arrive for police questioning when he launched the attack.

Armed with grenades, a handgun and also a machine gun he instead climbed onto a platform near to the Place Saint-Lambert, from where he fired shots and threw explosives onto a busy shopping street.

The dead included a 15-year-old boy who died "on the spot" and a 17-year-old boy. A 75-year-old woman and a baby later died of their injuries, while the gunman was also found dead, reportedly of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Students and residents marked the attacks with a silent vigil for the victims on Wednesday afternoon.

Amrani was known to be a "gun freak", police said. He was convicted for five years after police found a dozen firearms in his metal workshop, including an AK-47 machine gun. He was also found guilty of drugs offences after growing 2,800 marijuana plants.

Before the attack he transferred money into his wife's account with the words "I love you my love. Good luck" reported local news sources.

The killings in Belgium were mirrored by a similar attack in Florence, Italy,where a right-wing extremist killed two Senegalese street vendors and wounded three others before shooting himself on Tuesday. About 300 people marched in protest after the attacks by 50-year-old accountant Gianluca Casseri.

Although it is known as a tough, industrial city of 200,000 with a history of gun- and gang-related violence, Liège has been shocked by the attacks.

Belgium's King Albert and Queen Paola II visited the Place Saint-Lambert on Tuesday and paid their respects to the dead.

Belgian prime minister Elio di Rupo said there were "no words" to describe the tragedy.

"We think first and foremost of the innocent victims, their family and friends. We also think of all the people working at the scene and more generally of the people of Liege.

"The whole country shares the pain of the families affected. We share the shock of the population."

David Cameron offered his condolences after the attack. A Number 10 Spokesperson said: "The prime minister called Belgian Prime Minister Di Rupo this evening to pass on his sympathy in the wake of the appalling attacks in Liege. He said that his thoughts and those of very many people in Britain were with all those involved."