Belgian Mayor Alfred Gadenne found dead in cemetery ‘with throat slit open’

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A Belgian mayor has been found dead in a cemetery near his home with his throat slit.

Alfred Gadenne’s death has shocked the country with the prime minister expressing ‘horror’ at the death of the lawmaker.

His wife found the 71-year-old’s body in the graveyard close to his home. He was the gatekeeper and locked the cemetery in Mouscron every evening.

Local news service SudInfo 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?’

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