Soldiers hunt anti-lockdown sniper who stole rocket launchers & machine gun after threatening top Covid scientist
A HEAVILY armed soldier is being chased down by hundreds of special force troops after threatening to kill several people – including Belgium's top virologist.
Trained sniper Jurgen Conings disappeared on Monday and is on the run after swiping four missile launchers, a machine gun and a pistol from a barracks he worked at.
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Conings vanished after threatening leading Covid scientist Marc Van Ranst – forcing him and his family to move to safety.
"Being against health measures and vaccines and against the coronavirus too often coincides with a glorification of violence and brutal racism," Van Ranst wrote on Twitter.
"Let one thing be clear: such threats do not impress me."
Belgian police then launched a huge manhunt for the anti-lockdown soldier, and on Tuesday a number of weapons were uncovered in his car near Dilsen in western Belgium.
"There are indications that he is violent and, in the last 24 hours, evidence has emerged that the man poses an acute threat," Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne told VTM Nieuws.
He added that Conings – dubbed 'Rambo' – was on a list of potential terrorists compiled by OCAM, an organisation responsible for assess the threat of terrorism in Belgium, because of far-right tendencies.
Conings – who has served in Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan – is thought to be on the run in the Hoge Kempen forest, with some 250 cops and soldiers deployed to the area near the Dutch border on Wednesday to search for him.
He reportedly left notes, including one to his family that said he "could no longer live in a society where politicians and virologists have taken everything away from us."
He warned that he "would join the resistance and would not surrender" in a final message.
The park was locked down on Wednesday and shots were reportedly heard as teams of armed officers stormed it, with helicopters on standby, reports the Mail.
Conings is believed to be armed with a handgun and an FN P90 semi-automatic submachine gun, which can pierce bullet proof vests, reports The Times.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo branded it "unacceptable" that he had been allowed access to weapons.
"The real question is of course how is this possible," he said.
"Someone who has already made threats in the past – that this man within defence has access to weapons and can even take those weapons with him.
"It is unacceptable."
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