Brussels airport suicide bombers identified

Police have identified Khalid and Ibrahim al-Bakraoui as the two airport suicide bombers.

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.

JOHANNESBURG - The suspects in a terror attack on Brussels Airport and a metro station have been identified.

Two explosions at the airport and one at Maalbeek station yesterday left 34 dead and nearly 200 injured.

Police have identified Khalid and Ibrahim al-Bakraoui as the two airport suicide bombers.

An international manhunt is currently underway for a third suspect , for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

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

Reports claims that the explosions happened near the American Airlines desk.

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

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.

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Officials have urged people in the Belgian capital to be vigilant while some other countries like Britain are warning their citizens against travel to the city for all but essential reasons.

Brussels Airlines, which serves many citizens across Europe, has cancelled its services for at least the next two days.

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Belgium has begun three days of national mourning in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

The country will observe a minute's silence at midday, which is 1pm South African time, and has declared three days of mourning.

The country's Prime Minister Charles Michel is to hold an extraordinary cabinet meeting today and has already tightened security around the capital and in particular its major transport hubs.

The city will try to get back to work today, but with so much of the transport system shut down, commuters will face a nerving struggle getting into and out from work.

Vigils have been held in Brussels and around the world to honour the victims.