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On 22 March 2016, three explosions occurred in Brussels, Belgium: two at Brussels Airport and one at Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station. At least 26 people are reported to have been killed, with dozens injured.

Incidents Edit

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Brussels Airport Edit

File:Brussels - National (Zaventem) - Melsbroek (BRU - EBBR - EBMB) AN1788412.jpg

There were two explosions at Brussels Airport shortly after 08:00 local time.[1] One was in the international departure hall near the American Airlines and Brussels Airlines check-in desks, while, according to French media, the other was on the runway.[2] Belgium's federal prosecutor has since confirmed that the explosions were carried out by a suicide bomber.[2]

Initial reports stated that 17[3] people were killed and at least 35 people were injured.[2] Windows were shattered in the main terminal building and "significant" damage was reported inside.[2][4] Unconfirmed reports indicate that this could have been a suicide attack and an additional explosive device; the Belgian government has put the country onto its highest national threat level.[2][1][5]

In a BBC report, the news agency Belga reported that shots were fired and shouts in Arabic were heard before the explosions occurred.[6][2] Reuters reported that a witness stated "he heard shouts in Arabic shortly before two blasts struck the packed airport departure lounge."[7]

After the attack the airport was closed and all departing flights cancelled.[8] All arriving flights were either cancelled or diverted to nearby airports including Brussels Charleroi and Schiphol in Amsterdam.[9] Paris train station Gare du Nord, which has services to Brussels, was also temporarily closed.[8]

Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station Edit

File:MetroBrussel Maalbeek.jpg

An explosion took place in a train travelling between the Maelbeek/Maalbeek and Schuman metro stations near the European Parliament at 09:11 CET[10] in the center of Brussels.[11][12] The Brussels Metro was subsequently shut down.[13][2] Initially no deaths were reported as a result of the metro explosion, though subsequent reports have confirmed that 15 people were killed there.[2] 55 people have been reported to be injured, 10 of those critically.[14]

Aftermath Edit

Authorities have temporarily halted all air traffic to the airport, and patrons inside are being evacuated.[2][1][15][16] The Berlaymont building, which is located near the Maelbeek station and houses the headquarters of the European Commission, was subsequently placed into lockdown.[2]

All public transport in the Belgian capital was shut down as a result of the attacks.[17][18] Brussels-North railway station, Brussels-Central railway station and Brussels-South Railway station were evacuated and closed, and all Eurostar trains to Brussels Midi station were suspended.[2] All trains from Paris to Brussels were also cancelled.[2]

Belgium's Interior Ministry announced that the terror alert level in the country would be raised to the highest level following the attacks.[19]

International reactions Edit

Extra police have been deployed to the Belgian border of the Netherlands.[20] The border between France and Belgium has been closed. [21]

The French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve indicated France will increase the presence of security forces at their borders, and enforce carrying of identity cards on public transport.[22]

The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte held a speech in the morning after the attacks.[23] He indicated that the Netherlands is shoulder to shoulder with Belgium. With the mourning as well as that terrorism will never reign the country. He stated the higher security at important places but that there is no specific terrorist treath in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands there was higher security at the four main train stations and the border train stations, the general border with Belgium and at the Binnenhof.[24] Security was increased at Schiphol Airport.[25]

In the United Kingdom, security was increased at London transport hubs.[26] British Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a meeting of the UK government's COBRA emergency committee to discuss the situation.[27]

In Singapore, security was increased at Singapore's transport stations.

Shortly after the news of explosions, Israel issued a temporary ban on all flights from Europe. The ban is in place from 10:30 am until midnight Israel time. The ban does not affect outgoing flights.[28]

See also Edit

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References Edit

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simple:2016 Brussels bombings
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