Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2016

Deadly attacks hit Europe's heart

(Xinhua)    08:15, March 23, 2016

The avenue in front of the blast-hit Maalbeek railway station is blocked by police for investigation in Brussels, capital of Belgium, March 22, 2016. The death toll has risen to 34 in the deadly blasts in Brussels on Tuesday morning, according to the latest figures. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)

BRUSSELS, March 22 -- Tuesday marked a tragic day for Europe's heart -- Brussels, a city that boasts the capital of the European Union. Multiple deadly bomb attacks for which the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility hit Brussels Tuesday morning at its airport and a metro station close to EU institutions, killing at least 34 people and injuring 170 more.


Two explosions occurred at the Brussels airport's departure hall approximately at 8 a.m. local time (0700GMT), causing at least 14 deaths. A third deactivated bomb was found during a search of the terminal building later the day.

"There was a small explosion, then a big one," Zach Muzun, a Belgian citizen, told Xinhua. It took the police and airport staffs around 30 minutes to make preliminary clearance, he said. "When we went out...There was blood everywhere."

The Brussels airport soon announced closure, with flights suspended and passengers evacuated. Several countries have also announced cancellation of flights to Brussels.

Belgian federal prosecutor said the explosions at Brussels airport were likely suicide attacks.

Attackers opened fire inside the airport before several of them detonated their explosive belts, IS said in a statement.

Around one hour after the airport explosions, another blast was reported at the Maelbeek metro station which is within hundreds of meters from the EU complex.

"The metro train I boarded stopped halfway while heading from Arts-Loi to Maelbeek at around 9:10 a.m.", said Han Shuang, a Belgian resident. The passengers were evacuated from the suspended train and had to walk on the track in darkness towards the Arts-Loi direction to get out of the station. Han said she smelt a strong smell of burnt metal.

"I saw a body on the ground with a yellow cover while walking past the Maelbeek station," she said, "It is too horrible."

At least 20 people died in the metro attack with another 106 people injured, of whom 17 were reported to be in critical condition.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon has declared three days of national mourning.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called it a "black day" for his country.


The Brussels attacks came four months after the Paris bloodshed in which terrorists bombed several places of the city and killed 130 people. Brussels was later founded out to be highly linked to the terror attacks as it served as a hiding place for the terrorists. Salad Abdeslam, the most wanted Paris attacks suspect, was arrested in Brussels on Friday.

Tuesday's deadly bombings again showed the security situation was still at high risk in Europe.

Following the attacks, Brussels on Tuesday morning raised the threat alert to the highest level 4 from previous level 3. The EU institutions have cancelled most meetings and visits scheduled for Wednesday. A nuclear power station in Tihange, southeast Belgium, has been evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Belgian police issued a photograph on Tuesday evening of a man, in a white jacket, white shirt and dark hat pushing a luggage trolley, on suspicion of being involved in the Brussels airport attack.

Raids are undergoing. An explosive device, chemicals and an Islamic State (IS) flag were found at an address raided by police in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek, the Belgian federal prosecutor said on Tuesday evening.

Brussels attacks are "horrific and cowardly... It has struck at the very heart of Brussels. The very heart of Belgium. The very heart of Europe," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.

French President Francois Hollandeon Tuesday presided a unscheduled security meeting in the wake of Brussels attacks. He paid a visit to the Belgium embassy in Paris and announced that the country's flags would fly at half mast, calling for a united front to win the war against terrorism.

"We are facing a global threat, so we need a global response. The war against terrorism must be conducted in all Europe and with the necessary means," Hollande said.


European countries have stepped up security measures and are seeking solidarity in confronting the terrorism.

In Paris, security patrols were reinforced in the French capital's two main airports. Additional police forces have been deployed to control trains coming from Belgium.

In the Netherlands, Belgium's northern neighbor, police increased monitoring and surveillance over suspicious situations across the country. There was increased police deployment at train stations in its four major cities and at other train stations with international traffic.

Tightened border controls were introduced at the southern border of the Netherlands, and trains to and from Brussels no longer ride. People travelling to Belgium were stranded at train stations in cities near the Belgian border.

Germanypolice have increased security on the borders with Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as well as German airports and railway stations.

Security measures have also been beefed up in Britain, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Italy, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech and etc.

The attacks have also provoked a global tightened security. New York has increased presence of police and counter-terrorism forces in its subways and other public transit hubs. Philippine president ordered Tuesday a review of security measures in airports and other public transport terminals to prevent any terrorist attack.


Public transport starts to resume after Brussels attacks

Some public transport resumed on Wednesday in Brussels except Metro systems.

Brussels Bomb Suspect Arrested

Brussels bomb suspect Najim Laachraoui has been arrested in Brussels, according to the local media.

Brussels airport attackers identified as brothers El Bakraoui

The two suicide bombers carried out the Brussels airport attacks on Tuesday have been identified as brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui, local media reported on Wednesday.

China condemns Brussels attacks

China strongly condemned the attacks on Brussels Tuesday, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

Death toll in Brussels blasts rises to 34

The death toll has risen to 34 in the deadly blasts in Brussels on Tuesday morning, according to the latest figures.

Belgium evacuates nuclear plants as terror threat level increased

Staff not essential of nuclear plants in Doel and Tihange of Belgium have been sent home by the request of Belgian government as a precautionary measure after the terror threat level across the country was increased to the maximum level 4 on Tuesday morning.

European countries beef up security following Brussels attacks

Security has been beefed up inEuropean countries at airports, railway stations and bus stations since the attacks on Brussels Tuesday.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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