World Shocked by Terror Attacks in Brussels, Death Toll Still Rising
The city of Brussels, Belgium fell victim to a series of ISIS-claimed terror attacks during Tuesday’s morning rush hour at the Zaventem airport and downtown Maelbeek subway station. So far, at least 34 people have been reported dead, and the number of those injured is in the hundreds.
— CNN (@CNN) March 22, 2016
In total there were three explosions. The first two took place at around 8 AM local time, or 3 AM Eastern time in the departure hall of the Brussels Airport. Officials have said that at least one of the explosions was triggered by a suicide bomber. The blasts happened outside of the security checkpoints for passengers near an airline check-in counter and a airport Starbucks. Reports have placed the first attack’s death toll at 14 people ,and estimated the number of those injured to be 92.
About an hour later there was another explosion, which targeted the Maelbeek subway station which resides in the heart of Brussels. At least 20 people were killed and 106 were injured at the subway station.
Images and videos of the attacks showed panicked travelers escaping trapped train cars and fleeing the smoke filled airport.
Warning: The following video shows actual images from after the attack.
Belgium has called for three days of national mourning and has effectively shut down travel in and out of the city. All flights in and out of the international hub have been suspended and the entire subway network has been closed. Workers at two nuclear power plants in Belgium were also evacuated, but so far there has been little information on whether or not there is a direct threat to the facilities.
Amaq News Agency, an ISIS-affiliated new agency, released a statement that claimed Islamic State fighters armed with explosive belts were responsible for the attacks. The statement also claimed that the bombers “opened fire” before detonating their bombs inside Zaventem Airport.
Many believe the attacks may have been in response to the Friday arrest of Salah Abdeslam, who is considered to have been the main fugitive and sole survivor involved in the November 13 terror attack in Paris that killed 130 people.
Belgium authorities have released the following photo to the media of the three men who are currently suspects in the airport attack. According to BBC, “the two men dressed in black are believed to have blown themselves up, while the man in white is thought to have escaped.”
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 22, 2016
President Obama offered his condolences for the attacks at the beginning of his long awaited speech to the Cuban people Tuesday, saying:
We stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible. And this is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world.
Many people have also responded by sharing their condolences on social media.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 22, 2016
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) March 22, 2016
— kingscourtautographs (@kingscourtgraph) March 22, 2016
A lot of details surrounding the attacks are still unknown, and we could still see a rise in the death toll and the number of those injured. We’ll continue to update you with more information as it comes.