This event is a prelude of what the EU and the US has to face, Paris IMHO was a trial run.
If ever the need for secure measures to be taken at our boarders, air ports, rail and bus, this event illustrates such a need. How many examples of death and destruction must take place before rational measures are implemented to keep our citizens safe?
Time is closing in as terror cells are gaining strength and emboldened with the belief that human bombs are highly successful, soft targets easy pickings and easily disguised among the general population.
There have been reports of multiple casualties – possibly as many as 23 – after explosions at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels. Here’s what we know so far:
- The explosions at the airport were minutes apart and took place at about 8am local time (7am GMT), according to local media. At least one explosion was in the departures area.
- There has been no official confirmation that the blasts were an act of terrorism, but the Belgian state prosector said the airport explosion was a suicide attack.
- Brussels airport confirmed that there were two explosions at the site and the airport had been evacuated. It warned people to stay away from the area.
- Brussels airport will stay closed until 6am on Wednesday and Eurostar has suspended trains to and from Brussels Midi station.
- Police confirmed at least one death. Belgian broadcaster RTBF said up to 13 people were killed and 35 wounded in the airport explosions. It cited a hospital source for the figures, according to Reuters.
- Belgian broadcaster VTM said a further 10 people were killed in the blast at the Maelbeek station, which is about 500 metres from EU buildings. The Metro system in Brussels was closed following the attack and pictures showed passengers being evacuated from a train. This death toll has not been corroborated.
- The Belgian government has put the country on the highest alert following the explosions. Brussels is on lockdown, with museums reported to have been shut.
- Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, said his government was monitoring the situation minute-by-minute. The “top priority” was the victims, he said in a tweet.
- David Cameron is to chair a meeting of the UK government’s emergency committee, Cobra. Cameron and other world leaders have expressed their shock and support on Twitter.
- The European commission has locked down its staff. Kristalina Georgieva, the commission’s vice-president for budget and human resources, told staff to stay indoors.