International News

Belgium: Two-year-old Kurdish girl dies after police chase van carrying migrants

The police opened fire at the van, but the prosecutor handling the case denied that the girl was shot dead.

A two-year-old Kurdish girl died soon after the van she was travelling in with around 30 migrants was chased by Belgian police near the city of Mons on Thursday, BBC reported.

Frederic Bariseau, a prosecutor in city of Tournai, is handling the case. He said the police had opened fire on the van but “the girl did not die as a result of the police shooting,” The Guardian reported. An investigation has been initiated into the girl’s death. Bariseau speculated that an illness, an accident caused by the driver’s behaviour, or a blow to the head might have killed the girl.

The police found 26 adults, three children and the body of the girl, named Mawda, in the van. The van’s occupants of the van were immediately detained for questioning. The girl was travelling with her Kurdish-Iraqi parents and brother.

Police personnel tried to stop the van after they saw that it was being driven in a suspicious manner. A primary inquiry confirmed that there were false number plates in the vehicle, reports said.

Soon after the incident, a group of 60 migrants blocked a motorway near Dunkirk, south of the Belgian border in France, in protest against the death, BBC reported.

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