Belgian police hunting fugitive far-right soldier find body

Belgian military ride in a convoy at the entrance of the National Park Hoge Kempen during a manhunt for an armed soldier in Maasmechelen, Belgium (Francisco Seco/AP) (AP)
14:50pm, Sun 20 Jun 2021
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Belgian police say the body of a fugitive far-right soldier who was the target of a huge manhunt appears to have been found.

Hundreds of security forces scoured parts of northeast Belgium after the May 17 disappearance of Jurgen Conings, who was on an anti-terrorism watch list, had threatened a top virologist involved in the country’s Covid-19 programme and had hoarded heavy weaponry.

A body was found on Sunday by people walking in the woods near the town of Dilsen-Stockem.

Initial evidence indicates it is Conings and that he killed himself, but further examination is under way, Belgian federal police said in a statement.

Conings, 46, had hidden anti-tank missile launchers and other heavy arms in an army barracks before disappearing.

He had threatened several people in recent months, including the virologist, and landed on the federal anti-terrorism watch list in February.

Conings had a three-decade career behind him as an expert marksman before he started making threats and racist remarks on Facebook.

He was handed disciplinary sanctions but still allowed to work with weapons.

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