A man has shot dead two police officers and a civilian in Liege, the eastern city of Belgium. The gunman took a female cleaner hostage, before being shot by police. Two other officers were injured.

There has been no motive revealed as of yet, but the incident is being treated as an act of terrorism. Police sources quoted the local media, who said the man could be heard shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar’. The deaths of the two officers were confirmed by the local mayor’s office AFP news agency reported.

The shooting began late this morning, near a café in the city centre. Prosecutors said the man followed and attacked the officers with a knife, before taking a firearm from them, and opening fire.

He also shot dead a 22-year-old man who was sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car, as he walked in the direction of a nearby school. He briefly took a member of staff hostage before being dealt with by police.

Armed officers arrived on the scene and the gunman began firing when trying to escape, injuring a number of them ‘around their legs’.  Footage on social media showed people running to safety. Children at the school were also moved to safety, with the Liege city authorities later tweeting ‘The children in the local schools are safe’.

Belgium remains on alert after a series of attacks from jihadist groups. A Brussels-based cell was involved in the 2015 Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead in locations all across the city.