Brussels Attacks, March 2016

Brussels Attacks, March 2016
People fleeing Brussels Airport after the blasts

Isis have claimed the attacks on Brussels airport and metro

We will keep updating this page during the day with the latest news. Please skip to the end for the latest…

Belgium is operating on the highest Terror Alert and the city is in lock down, with all transport links closed after explosions hit Brussels airport and Maelbeek metro station. People are being told to stay indoors and away from windows.

At least 34 people are reported to have died and many more people have been injured.

The blasts hit Brussels Airport and a metro station shortly after 07:00 GMT.

One of the airport explosions is reported to have been a suicide bomb. The Belga news agency reported that shouts in Arabic were heard before the two explosions. Police found a Kalashnikov assault rifle next to dead attacker.

Police have found an unexploded suicide vest at Brussels airport, according to Belgian broadcaster VTM.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Charlie Flanagan TD has expressed his shock at this morning’s explosions in Brussels.

“I am horrified by reports of multiple explosions in Brussels, Belgium and my thoughts are with those affected. The Consular Section of my Department, in conjunction with our Embassy in Belgium, are working with the local authorities.

“Anyone with concerns for family and friends can contact the Consular Division of my Department on +353 1 418 0200. Any Irish citizens in Brussels or Belgium should exercise caution and closely follow the instructions of local authorities. We will be updating our guidance in consultation with the Authorities as this situation unfolds.”

New footage has emerged from inside the airport shortly after the blast:

Prime Minister Charles Michel called the Brussels attacks “blind, violent and cowardly”, saying they were a “tragic moment in our country’s history. I would like to call on everyone to show calmness and solidarity”.

Heathrow and Gatwick have stepped up security, while flights between the UK and the Belgian capital are disrupted.

Brussels Airport issued a statement confirming all flights were cancelled, with passengers advised to contact their airlines.

Flights from the UK that were in the air when the attacks happened have been diverted to other Belgian and Dutch airports.

Mr Cameron, who will chair a Cobra meeting later, tweeted:

The attacks come four days after Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the Paris attacks, was captured in Brussels.

Gavin Sheridan has been following the story from Brussels. Follow him on Twitter: @gavinsblog

The death toll has now reached 34.

Belgium’s interior minister Jan Jambon has announced three days of national mourning.

An ISIS-affiliated website reported today that the terror group claimed responsibility for the attacks, claiming its “fighters” carried out the bombings against “the Belgian capital of Brussels, a country participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State.”

3-suspects-involved-in-brussels-main

This image is believed to show three suspected terrorists moments before the Brussels Airport attack. The two men on the left are believed to be responsible for two of the explosions. The police are now searching for the man on the right.

 

We will keep updating this page as more information comes in.

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