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Brussels: Suicide bomber behind airport explosions

The explosions in the departure hall have claimed multiple lives and injured many.

A Belgian police vehicle drives past passengers who are evacuating the Brussels Airport of Zaventem after at least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal on 22 march 2016. Picture: AFP.
Brussels,Brussels explosions,Brussels Airport,Maalbeek Station
World

JOHANNESBURG – Belgium’s federal prosecutor has confirmed the explosions at Brussels Airport were carried out by a suicide bomber, according to broadcasters VTM and RTBF.

AIRPORT EXPLOSIONS

Explosions tore through the departure hall of Brussels Airport on Tuesday morning causing multiple deaths and injuring many, the Belgian news agency Belga said.

The agency said shots were fired and there were shouts in Arabic shortly before the explosions.

Some reports claim the explosions happened near the American Airlines desk.

MAELBEEK EXPLOSION 

Minutes later, another explosion rocked Brussels, this time at the Maelbeek Metro Station close to European Union (EU) institutions.

Reports claim multiple people also died and many more were injured.

Belgian authorities shut down all Metro stations in and around Brussels and the Interior Ministry lifted the terror threat to the highest level.

BRUSSELS ON LOCKDOWN

Residents of Brussels have been warned to remain indoors. 

An official who works at the Council of the EU, has told Eyewitness News that the building where he works is on lockdown.

He says he arrived at the station a short while before the explosion.

“There was smoke coming out of the Metro station and everybody was pretty scared. For now, I am safe inside the office.”

He says the phone lines are also down in Brussels.

“The whole of Brussels has a problem with mobile phones and everything else because it’s being overused by everyone.”
The blasts occurred four days after the arrest in Brussels of a suspected participant in November militant attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. 

Belgian police had been on alert for any reprisal action.

SALAH ABDESLAM

Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect for November's Paris attacks on a stadium, cafes and a concert hall, was captured by Belgian police after a shootout on Friday.

Belgium's Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, said on Monday the country was on high alert for 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.

Salah Abdeslam, suspected Paris attacks organiser, captured in Brussels.

French investigator Francois Molins told a news conference in Paris on Saturday that Abdeslam, a French citizen born and raised in Brussels, admitted to investigators he had wanted to blow himself up along with others at the Stade de France on the night of the attack claimed by Islamic State, but he later backed out.

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