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Belgium: Multiple blasts in Brussels kill 34

22nd Mar 2016
Belgium: Multiple blasts in Brussels kill 34

[Photo top: Police officers stand guard around the Zaventem Airport after two explosions went off in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016.

Photographer: Dursun Aydemir/AA}

 

BRUSSELS (AA) – At least 34 people were killed and more than 100 others were injured in multiple explosions at an airport and metro station in Brussels on Tuesday morning, Belgian public broadcaster VRT reported. Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibilty for the bombings.

The first two blasts were reported at Zaventem airport, where at least 14 people were killed and dozens injured at around 8 a.m. local time (0700GMT), according to VRT.

Other media sources reported the federal prosecutor’s office as saying that at least one of the airport explosions was a suicide attack.

Just over an hour later, an explosion hit Maelbeek metro station during the late rush-hour, located near several EU offices, killing 20 people, VRT reported.

The broadcaster VTM also said a suspected suicide vest was destroyed at the airport and that Tihange nuclear power plant, which is located in Liege some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Brussels, had also been evacuated.

A news agency linked to Daesh said the group had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Amaq Agency, which has carried claims of responsibility for previous Daesh attacks, said “fighters” had carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices in Brussels.

The report identified Belgium as a nation participating in the international coalition against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

An image of three suspects at the airport was released to the media. The men were pictured in CCTV footage pushing luggage trollies. Brussels police issued a wanted notice for one of the men seen pushing a luggage trolley through the airport.

The other two are believed to have died in the explosions.

As the terror alert in Brussels was raised to the highest level, the federal prosecutor called for the media not to share information that could jeopardize the investigation. Le Soir newspaper said it would abide by the request.

Metro stations were closed and flights to Zaventem airport diverted while the Eurostar rail service was also cancelled into and out of Brussels.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22 : Police officers stand guard around the Maalbeek Metro station following a blast at the station in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016. ( Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )
[Photo: Police officers stand guard around the Maalbeek Metro station following a blast at the station in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016. (Photographer: Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency)]

Schools, shopping centers, cinemas and theaters were also closed.

Zaventem airport’s Chief Executive Arnaud Feist said the airport would be closed Wednesday.

A three-day period of mourning was declared by Interior Minister Jan Jambon and residents were advised to restrict their movements. “For now, we ask the population to prevent movement,” Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted.

He later condemned the attacks via Twitter. “I strongly condemn these hateful attacks. Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families. We stand united against terrorism.”

A Turkish man was among those injured at the airport, Ali Baris Ulusoy, Turkey’s consul general to Brussels, said.

The man, who works as a cleaner at the airport, is not in a critical condition, he said.

The attacks came four days after a counter-terrorism raid in Brussels led to the capture of Saleh Abdeslam, the prime remaining suspect in November’s Paris attacks that killed 130.

Author İlker Girit,Sibel Uğurlu,Handan Kazancı,Ilgın Karlıdağ,Fatjon Prronı

 

 

 

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