30 killed, 230 injured as two blasts rock Brussels

At least 30 people are feared killed while 230 others sustained varying degrees of injuries in a twin bomb which occurred in the departures area of Zaventem airport and one on a metro train in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday morning.

BRUSSEL3The twin bomb in apparently coordinated attacks at the height of rush hour on occurred at the departure wing of zaventem airport while the third explosion reportedly hit Maalbeek metro station, close to EU institutions.

The BBC reports that the metro system and airport have both been closed, and all public transport in the city suspended.

The Belgian government has confirmed casualties at the airport and Maalbeek metro station, however, there are conflicting reports regarding the tolls.

Media reports however, place the figures at 30 dead and 230 wounded.

Brussels transport officials say 15 died at Maalbeek and media say up to 13 died at the airport.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, says 20 people have died and 106 were injured in the blast on the metro train.

Mayeur told a news conference that 17 people were severely injured.

Public broadcaster VRT says at least 34 people were killed in total, at the metro and the airport.

It remains uncertain what the true cause of the explosions is; however, authorities say it was a suicide attack.

The whole metro system has been closed. Belgium has now raised its terror threat to its highest level.

The attack at the airport targeted an American Airlines desk and was probably carried out by a suicide bomber, Belgian Federal Prosecutor, Frederic Van Leeuw, said.

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According to Belgian TV, one of the blasts in the Brussels airport was caused by a suicide bomber.

At the time of filing this report, Belgian police say they have found three unused suicide belts at Zaventem airport.

Belgium’s interior minister, Jan Jambon, said on Monday the country was aware of the risk of a possible revenge attack following the capture of 26-year-old Abdeslam.

“We know that stopping one cell can … push others into action. We are aware of it in this case,” he told public radio.

Brussel

A wounded passenger lies on the floor at Brussels airport (Photo by The UK Telegraph)

The attacks come four days after Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris attacks, was captured in Brussels.

Meanwhile, police has release photo of Brussels attacks suspects.

Earlier on, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, had said he was “shocked and concerned” after at least 23 people were killed by a series of explosions in Brussels.

The minister said the UK “will do everything we can to help” Belgium, as security was stepped up at airports including Heathrow and Gatwick in response to the blasts.

Mr Cameron confirmed he would be chairing a meeting of the Government’s COBRA emergency committee later this morning to discuss events in Brussels.

Meanwhile, following the explosions in Brussels, Turkey’s national flagship carrier on Tuesday cancelled scheduled flights to Brussels until Friday, March 25.

Daily Sabah reports that reciprocal flights between Turkey and Brussels’ Zaventem Airport have been cancelled until Friday, Turkish Airlines (THY) announced.

Brussel1Meanwhile the Islamic State (ISIS) have posted a statement claiming responsibility for the suicide blasts.

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According to Independent of UK, the ISIS claimed that Belgium was targeted as “a country participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State”.

A CCTC image has been released of possible suspects behind #Brussels attacks.

A CCTC image of possible suspects behind #Brussels attacks.

Although the country only carried out a limited bombing campaign confined to Iraq before stopping its air strikes in June 2015.

More than 100 supporting troops and military advisers are believed to remain in the country.

The timing of the attacks, coming days after the arrest of Paris attacks suspect, Salah Abdeslam, was considered significant but no mention of the captured militant was made.

 

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