Brussels attack Isis attacks Brussels Airport and Metro Station attacked Twin blasts hit Zaventem airport at about 07:00 GMT, with 11 people reported killed.
Another explosion struck Maelbeek metro station near EU headquarters an hour later, leaving about 20 people dead.
The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attacks in a statement issued on the IS-linked Amaq agency.
Belgium has raised its terrorism alert to its highest level. Three days of national mourning have been declared. Prime Minister Charles Michel called the latest attacks “blind, violent and cowardly”, adding: “This is a day of tragedy, a black day… I would like to call on everyone to show calmness and solidarity”.
The airport and the entire public transport system in Brussels are closed, although some train stations are due to reopen shortly.Two blasts tore through the departures area of Zaventem airport shortly after 08:00local time (07:00 GMT).
The Belgian prosecutor said “probably a suicide bomber” was involved.
Eleven people were killed and 81 wounded in the blasts, Belgian Health Minister Maggie de Block said.The state-owned Belga news agency reports that shots were fired and shouts in Arabic were heard before the two explosions.
Some witnesses said that after the first blast people fled only to get caught in the second blast.
Public broadcaster VRT said an assault rifle was found next to a dead attacker. Private broadcaster VTM added that an unexploded bomb belt had been found. Reports say it will be detonated safely soon.Zach Mouzoun, arriving on a flight from Geneva, told France’s BFM television: “It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed. There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere. We were walking in the debris. It was a war scene.”
All flights have been diverted. Eurostar has cancelled all trains to and from Brussels. The Thalys France-Benelux train operator says the entire network is closed.
Passengers flee the terminalThe evil Islamic State (ISIS) have claimed responsibility for the Brussels terror attack, according to AMAQ, the news agency affiliated with the terror group.A statement from AMAQ, said: “Islamic State fighters opened fire inside Zaventem Airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station.”The terror group have since released a statement warning there will be “dark days” ahead if the West retaliates.At least 14 people have been killed and another 92 injured in the two large explosions at the airport, according to firemen at the scene.Another 20 people have been killed and 106 injured after two blasts in Maelbeek metro station in Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, the Mayor of Brussels confirmed.Medics from Gasthuisberg hospital in Leuven, where the wounded are being treated, said their injuries are consistent with at least one of the bombs being packed with nails before it was set off.
Two blasts happened on a metro near the European Parliament
Several people are still trapped in the Maelbeek metro station, confirmed Belgian health minister Maggie De Block.A Belgian news agency also reported witnesses had said they heard gunshots and shouts of Arabic at the time of the airport explosions.Two kalashnikov assault rifles were also found in the airport lounge.Two men were later arrested a mile away from the Maelbeek metro station at around 11am, some two hours after the blasts tore the train apart.A spokesman for David Cameron confirmed a UK national is among the injured and advised Britons to avoid all but essential travel to Brussels.Weapons have been found at the blast site at Zaventem airport, according to a Belgian news agency. The information has not yet been confirmed by an official source.Three explosive devices have been recovered at the airport, including a suicide belt which failed to detonate, according to Belgian media.
A third bomb found at the airport was destroyed by security services, the Brussels provincial governor said.
People run from the airport after the explosions
One explosion took place near the Brussels Airlines check-in desk while the other bomb detonated near the American Airlines check-in.Alphonse Youla, who was close to the Brussels Airlines area when the bombs detonated, said: “I saw a woman near the escalator near the arrivals area. She looked as though she had been cut in two by the explosion.”I got five people out. They were injured or dead. I pulled out two policemen with crushed legs. There were a lot of injured, especially people with severed legs. I was under a lot of shock.”The large explosions have taken out glass windows at the entrance and much of the airport’s ceiling has collapsed.A Belgian flag has been put alongside the Union Jack outside No.10 in Downing Street and all flags on government buildings will be at half-mast.
Armed police arrest two men near the metro station
The metro station targeted by the terrorists is near the European Union (EU) headquarters.There are now fears of several coordinated attacks across the city and the entire metro system has been shut down.The Belgian prosecutor’s office has now confirmed the attacks are suicide bombs.The Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has slammed the attacks as “blind, violent, cowardly” and has warned of more terror attacks.Mr Michel added: “We were feared an attack and it’s happened.”The Belgian leader said it was “a dark day for Belgium” and that his “thoughts go out to the victims and their families”.The French President François Hollande has called for “European unity” after the atrocities.
A metro in central Brussels was also attacked
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “We are at war”.Countries across Europe are tightening security following the attacks.Emergency services are still searching for fatalities and injured in the rubble at both scenes.An Iraq-based news agency says Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks
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Injured passengers at Brussels airport
The cause of the two blasts, which occurred at around 8am this morning at an American Airlines check-in desk, are unknown at this stage.There are unconformed reports that a bomb had been placed next to a check-in desk.Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has posted on Twitter: “We are following the situation minute by minute. The absolute priority is for the victims and people who were at the airport.”French minister of the interior Bernard Cazeneuve has said an extra 1,600 security forces and police will be deployed on the streets in France which is also under a high terror alert.Police in Britain are also stepping up security at key locations across the country.Belgian authorities have closed the metro in the capital of Brussels following the explosions.The blasts occurred four days after the arrest in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam, suspected of being involved in November’s Paris massacre that left 130 people dead and more than 300 injured.
Abdeslam’s accomplice Najim Laacheaoui, who was in hiding with the Paris terrorist in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, is still on the run.
Belgian police had been on alert for any reprisal action.
The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has announced the Eiffel Tower will be lit up with the colours of the Belgian flag this evening to honour the victims of the attacks.
The airport is filled with smoke after the blast
Social media showed pictures of smoke rising from the departure hall where all windows had been shattered by the blast. Passengers were seen running away down a slipway from the departure lounge.Rudi Vervoot, the president of the Brussels region, said: “There has been an explosion in the airport. An emergency plan will certainly be activated.”A witness said: “I was in the check-in queue and I heard an explosion. I saw smoke, I saw people panicking and running towards the exit. There was a second explosion much closer to me.”Everyone left the airport in panic, most people left their baggage.”
A dramatic image from inside the airport shows the chaos
Sources at the scene spoke of hearing two “very, very loud explosions”.He said: “I could feel the building move. There was also dust and smoke as well…I went towards where the explosion came from and there were people coming out looking very dazed and shocked.”The thinking here is that it is some kind of terrorist attack – that hasn’t been verified by any of the authorities here at the airport.”Witnesses have described feeling the ground rock and seeing dust coming from the ceiling.Brussels Airport has confirmed on Twitter that two explosions have taken place and have asked people not to come to the airport.Train services to the airport have been cancelled and all flights from and to Brussels airport has been cancelled.Airport security asked passengers to leave their luggage at the scene.
Abdeslam was captured by Belgian commandos on Friday after spending four months as one of the world’s most wanted men.
Abdesalam played a key role in organising the Paris November 13 attacks in which 130 people were massacred, but he lost his nerve when it came to detonating his suicide belt – instead dumping it in a bin and making a run for it.
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders revealed police discovered Abdesalam was intent on rebuilding a terror network of his own.
Speaking at the German Marshall Fund’s forum he said the terrorist was “ready to start something” in Brussels.
He said: “We found a lot of weapons, heavy weapons in the first investigations, and we have seen a new network of people around him in Brussels.”
Belgium has raised the terror level to its maximum for all airports in the region of Flanders.
Bomb explosion at Maelbeek metro in Brussels
The metro, bus routes and mainline train stations have all been shut down and Eurostar services have also been suspended until further notice.Shops, commercial centres and certain schools and universities have been closed as a precaution while others are being guarded by security forces.The EU areas and institutional buildings have also been closed. Terror alerts have been raised at parliamentary and EU institutions.Police are carrying out spot-checks on people and cars as feelings of terror grip the country.Telephone lines are down and authorities are advising people to use social media to contact loved ones.Mr Michel has urged Belgian residents to avoid any movement from their current location.Belgian MP Georges Dallemagne had just dropped his wife off at the airport when she heard the “massive explosions” and the roof caved in.
He said: “I dropped her off around 7.40am this morning, and she called me to say that there were explosions around 7.58am.
“She ran away immediately, in a state of shock, towards the Sheraton Hotel. Then she returned to pick up her baggage, realising that the danger in this zone had passed.
“It was then that she saw broken windows, victims leaving the airport, the elderly put on stretchers, and the emergency services arriving. She saw a part of the ceiling had collapsed. She said the two explosions were around the departure hall.”
Other witnesses said they “felt shockwaves passing through the building”.
A woman injured in the blast
Amid the horror of the terror attacks, glimpses of humanity have emerged.A man has been hailed a hero on social media for pulling several people to safety.A worker, only known as Alphonse, was wrapping bags at the check in desk when the explosion occurred.He quickly rushed to help seven injured people.Alphonse, who was wearing blood-smeared yellow trousers, described the moment he heard several bangs, which could have been a gunshot, and one that was much louder.He said: I saw people lying on the ground with a lot of blood who weren’t moving any more,” he said.The worker carried injured people into elevators to get them away from the devastating scene.
Praising him for his heroic actions, one person said: “People like Alphonse make the world beautiful.”
The Belgian Red Cross has made an appeal for blood donations as hospital workers rush to treat scores of injured people.
Facebook has activated at ‘safety check’ status for people in the Brussels area to tell their loved ones they are safe.
The border between France and Belgium has been shut down following the attacks, with roads, rail and air services closed.
French authorities will bar members of the public without tickets or identification from entering transports hubs.
Alphonse has been hailed a hero
Security at European institutions in Strasbourg have also been reinforced.Belgian authorities have also stepped up security at nuclear sites.A Slovenian diplomat was injured in the Brussels attacks on Tuesday, Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said.Mr Erjavec told a news conference that the diplomat, who he did not name, was hurt in the metro blast on his way to work.He said the diplomat was being treated in hospital but his injuries were not life threatening.David Cameron said security would now be stepped up at ports, airports and train stations.He said: “We have held a COBRA meeting to make sure we are doing everything we can and we are enhancing security.
“These are difficult times, they are appalling terrorists and we will stand together to do everything we can.
“Although they attack our way of life and who we are, we will never let them win.
“We still have information coming in. If there is information that advises there is a direct threat to Britain we will raise the security threat level.
“We will continue to keep the situation under review and make sure we do everything we can.
“We face a very real terrorist threat right across the different countries in Europe.
“It’s too early to say (about British victims) but we will make announcements when we have hard information.”
US President Barack Obama, speaking from Cuba, said: “We will do whatever it takes to support our friends and allies in Belgium and bring to justice those who are responsible.
“The world must unite. We must stand together regardless of nationality or race or faith and fight against the scourge of terrorism.
“We can and we will fight those who stand in the face of security around the world.”
US Democrat leader Hilary Clinton has said in a statement: “Brussels attacks will only strengthen our resolve to stand together as allies and defeat terrorism and radical jihadism.”