BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The murder of a Belgian city mayor whose throat was cut in a cemetery on Monday has shocked the country, and the country’s prime minister expressed “horror” at the death of the retired national lawmaker.
Citing the public prosecutor, Belgian media said Alfred Gadenne, 71, the conservative mayor of Mouscron, an industrial town of 57,000 just across the border from the northern French city of Lille, was found dead in a graveyard close to his home where he acted as caretaker and locked the gates each night.
Local news service SudInfo, citing unnamed sources, said a suspect had handed himself in to police and that the motive was unclear. The case was handed to a local prosecutor rather than to national counter-terrorism investigators.
“I have learned with horror of the brutal death of Alfred Gadenne,” Prime Minister Charles Michel, a liberal, said on Twitter. “All my thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Among the many others offering condolences was Martine Aubry, the former French Socialist party leader and long-time mayor of metropolitan Lille.
Philippe Courard, president of the parliament for Belgium’s French-speaking south, tweeted: “Terrifying. What kind of world are we living in?”
Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Leslie Adler