Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Brussels Bombings: What We Know So Far

Via The Guardian:

Belgian PM says ‘many dead, many injured’ following explosions at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station.

There have been reports of multiple casualties with at least 34 dead after explosions at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels. Here’s what we know so far:

The explosions at the airport were minutes apart and took place at about 8am local time (7am GMT), according to local media. Both explosions were in the check-in area.

About 30 minutes later a third blast hit the Maelbeek metro station, close to the EU buildings.

The Belgian federal prosector said the airport explosion was a suicide attack.

Yvan Mayeur, the mayor of Brussels, said at least 20 people were killed and 106 injured at the Maelbeek metro station.

The Belgian health minister Maggie de Block said 11 people were killed and 81 wounded in the blasts at the airport.

A third device at the airport was later neutralised in a controlled explosion, a spokeswoman for the airport said.

In an online statement, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks, although the statement offered no more details than were publicly available.

The British government advised against “all but essential” travel to the Belgian capital.

Brussels airport will stay closed on Wednesday. International services to and from Brussels Midi station were gradually restarting on Wednesday evening.

The Belgian government has put the country on the highest alert following the explosions. Brussels was on lockdown.

Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, described the attack as “a black day” for Belgium. “What we feared, has happened”, he said, adding that authorities are worried about the possibility of more attacks.

British prime minister David Cameron chaired a meeting of the UK government’s emergency committee, Cobra. Cameron and other world leaders have expressed their shock and support on Twitter.

The European commission has locked down its staff. Kristalina Georgieva, the commission’s vice-president for budget and human resources, told staff to stay indoors.

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