Written by Tharushan Fernando
22 Mar, 2016 | 8:09 pm
Belgium was rocked by explosions on Tuesday, which forced the Belgian government to raise the terror alert level to 4 across the country. A suicide bomber blew himself up at Brussels Airport killing at least 34 people. Another blast tore through a rush-hour metro train in the capital shortly afterwards, claiming ten lives.
The first two explosions ripped through the departure hall at Zaventem Airport shortly before 8 a.m. Witnesses described apocalyptic scenes with blood and ‘dismembered bodies everywhere’ after two blasts rocked the American Airlines check-in desk at Brussels Airport
At the airport, shouts in Arabic were heard before the explosions which sent shock waves through the terminal building, shattering windows, knocking roof tiles off the ceiling and sending terrified passengers running for their lives.
Earlier prosecutors said that suicide bombers there killed at least 13 people, and injured some 35. A little more than an hour later, another blast hit a metro carriage at Maalbeek station also in Brussels. Maalbeek metro station was targeted in a separate attack during the morning rush hour – after which children could be heard screaming. Dozens of bloodied commuters lay on the pavement, receiving treatment from paramedics.
News1st contacted Sri Lankan Ambassador to Belgium Rodney Perera, for details on Sri Lankans living in Brussels.
The seemingly coordinated attacks in Brussels come only a day after Jan Jambon, Belgium’s interior minister, warned that Jihadis could be looking for a way to counter-attack after the arrest last week of Salah Abdeslam, a suspected participant in November’s Paris attacks. If fully confirmed, the attacks would be the first suicide bombings in Belgium and would re-double the fears of international security services about the country’s status as a prime recruiting ground for IS fighters.
Located in Western Europe, Belgium bordered between the Netherlands, Germany, France and the North Sea and is reported to have possible activity of IS terror cells. Belgium is one of the hubs of the illegal arms trade in Europe.
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