Brussels / AFP
A series of explosions ripped through Brussels airport and a metro train on Tuesday, killing around 35 people and injuring more than 200 in the latest attacks to rock Europe.
Security was tightened across the jittery continent and transport links paralysed after the bombings that Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel branded “blind, violent and cowardly”.
“This is a day of tragedy, a black day,” Michel said on national
Foreign Minister Didier Reynders warned that authorities fear suspects could still be at large in the city that is home to both NATO and the European Union. The bloodshed came just four days after the dramatic arrest in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam—the prime suspect in the Paris terror attacks claimed by the IS group—after four months on the run.
Belgian authorities had been on alert after Abdeslam, Europe’s most wanted man, told investigators he had been planning an attack on Brussels.
Two blasts shattered the main hall of Zaventem Airport at around 8:00am (0700 GMT), with prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw saying there was probably at least one suicide bomber.
A third hit a train at Maalbeek metro station in the heart of the city’s EU quarter, just as commuters were making their way to work in rush hour.