A series of explosions have taken place across Brussels, Belgium this morning. Two occured within a terminal of the Brussels Zaventem Airport. Another has occurred within a metro train near Maelbeek station in downtown Brussels. These explosions appear to be the result of a coordinated terrorist attack in a city already on high alert following the arrest of Paris Attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam. ISIS has now reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. So far the death toll stands at 34, with more than 100 other wounded in the 3 explosions.
A complete picture of the situation has only begun to develop, however this is what we know so far. (Scroll to end of page for the latest updates)
The first reports of an explosion came in just after 08:00 local time in Brussels:
Following this footage began to emerge of a large number of people fleeing from within the airport:
Since then a local media and police have begun to report casualties, but nothing is yet confirmed. Local firefighters have said that at least 11 people were killed and more than double that number injured, however police have merely said that there are dead and wounded in the explosions.
Other recent developments include:
- Local media reported that there were shots fired and shouts in Arabic immediately prior to the airport bombing however this has yet to be 100% confirmed
- As well police in Belgium have just declared a nationwide 'Level 4' terror alert, the highest level possible in the immediate aftermath of the bombings.
- France has reportedly closed its border with Belgium
At 9:20 reports began coming in of additional explosions at metro stations in Brussels, suggesting this could be a coordinated attack.
Several injured are being reported at the Maelbeek metro station and some metro passengers are being evacuated out along the tracks.
Belgian broadcaster NRT has now stated that at least one of the explosions at the Brussels Zaventem Airport was a suicide bombing. As well, they have reported that the death toll from these explosions has now risen to at least 13. It is unclear if this figure includes possible deaths or injuries from reported explosions in the Brussels Metro.
So far it appears many have been injured following the bomb explosion in Maelbeek metro station. As well there are so far some unconfrimed reports of deaths following this bombing.
Estimate about 10-15 people at Maelbeek injured. Did not see killed. But did not see inside. One lying about 10m down st from entrance— Zoya Sheftalovich (@zoyashef) March 22, 2016
Reports are now coming in of 10 dead in the metro bombing, in addition to the 13 confirmed dead at Zaventem Airport.
The death toll at Brussels bombings has now reportedly risen to 21
Graphic photos have begun to emerge from the scene of the metro explosion near Maelbeek station. They show what appears to be several dead bodies, but also confirm earlier reports that the explosion happened within a metro carriage.
Reports of a 4th bombing at Wetstraat in Brussels appear to be incorrect, instead police carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious package.
The death toll from the Maelbeek metro station bombing has reportedly now risen to 15, with another 55 injured. This would place the total death toll for today at between 26 and 28, however this could rise further as new information arises.
Police have reportedly discovered a Kalashnikov assault rifle at the departure hall of the Zaventem Airport in Brussels which would appear to confirm earlier reports of gunfire before the explosions.
Belgian state broadcasters say an AK-47 has been found in Brussels airport departure hall. Same type of gun used in Paris attacks too.— Shiraz Maher (@ShirazMaher) March 22, 2016
The death toll from the metro bombing has once again climbed, with 20 now being reported dead. This combined with a figure of 14 reported dead from the Zaventem Airport bombing puts the total death toll now at 34 people.
BREAKING: Brussels mayor says at least 20 people died in subway attack near EU headquarters.— The Associated Press (@AP) March 22, 2016
The Amaq News Agency, which is closely afficiated with the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) has posted that the terrorist group has claim responsibility for the Brussels attacks.
Heads of state and international organizations, including the EU, UN, and the President of the United States, all made remarks condemning the attacks and showing support to Brussels.