Manhunt continues for armed soldier believed to be hiding in National Park

The search for the armed fugitive soldier Jürgen Conings has entered its fourth day. There is still no sign of the 46-year-old that has been missing since he left the Leopoldsburg barracks (Limburg) with several weapons (including rocket launchers) and a large quantity of ammunition on Monday. 

A search for the man, who has been in the army since 1992, got under way on Tuesday. Although some of the weapons he took from his barracks were found in his abandoned car. He still armed and considered to be dangerous, not least because of the death threats he has made.

A number of people, including the Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder (Francophone socialist), are being given extra protection and the virologist Marc Van Ranst and his family have been taken to a safehouse. Jürgen Conings appears on a list of people posing a potential terror threat that is compiled by the terror threat analysis organ OCAD.  

Meanwhile, the search for him continues. An area covering around 20m² in the High Kempen National Park has been searched by hundreds of police officers and soldiers. On Friday morning the Federal Judicial Authorities told VRT News that “The search goes on”.  

On Monday evening Jürgen Conings return home from work with a veritable arsenal of weaponry in his car. This included 4 anti-tank rockets and a machine gun. On Tuesday a search was started, and Jürgen Coning’s car was found on the edge of the Dilserbos, in Limburg Province. Farewell notes were also found. They included threats to member of the government, virologists and to his employer, the Belgian Army. Conings appears on the OCAD terror threat list due to his far-right convictions. 

Despite three days of intensive searching by hundreds of police officers and soldiers there is still no trace of Jürgen Conings. However, a tent has been found and it is now being tested for DNA and fingerprints.

The Federal Judicial Authorities will meet with the Crisis Centre and the Governor of Limburg Province to discuss what security measures should remain in force to protect the public from the fugitive soldier. 

Top stories