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|A file photos of De Lijn buses. (Photo: Facebook/De Lijn)|
According to the prosecutor's office in Antwerp, on Thursday the driver found himself a few minutes early in the town of Kontich and disembarked to have a smoke.
At this point, a suspect appeared out of nowhere and attacked the 58-year-old - "apparently with a knife" - stabbing him repeatedly before fleeing the scene on foot.
The driver, working for public bus company De Lijn, boarded his bus and - "probably in a state of shock" - followed his route for another 15km to Lierre.
From the terminus, he then returned without passengers to his depot in Willebroek and only then, around an hour after the alleged attack, realised that he had been wounded.
His colleagues called emergency services.
According to the prosecutor, he had received potentially fatal wounds to the lower torso, to the neck, to his arms and upper right leg. An investigation has been launched.