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Terror strikes in the heart of Belgium.
At least 31 people are dead and dozens more injured in a series
Two blasts ripped through the city's airport soon after eight
This was the scene in the departure hall just moments afterwards.
I heard a gunshot and what sounded like Arabic, then I heard boom,
An hour later at least 20 people were killed when a third bomb went
off on an underground train during the rush hour.
Are these the men responsible for the carnage?
The Belgian authorities are hunting the man wearing a hat on the right
The other two are thought to have blown themselves up.
Belgian's Prime Minister says it's a "black moment" for his country,
as the so-called Islamic State claims responsibility.
President Obama and the British Prime Minister are among world
These were attacks in Belgium, they could just be attacks,
just as well be attacks in Britain, or France or Germany
In Paris tonight the Eiffel Tower is lit up in the colours
of the Belgian flag, while in Rome, the Trevi Fountain is also shining
in red, yellow and black, in solidarity with the victims.
Good evening, I am here live outside Brussels International Airport Wales
Today's attacks began with two explosions killing at least 11
people and injuring dozens of others. Then about an hour later
there was an attack on the Brussels metal at the heart of the city.
Tonight there is a series of police raids in operation in Brussels as
police and security forces try to find accomplices of those who
carried out today's attacks. The king of Belgium has just been
speaking and we will bring you that in just a moment. Let's first recap
the day's events as we have them. They were a series of bomb attacks
in Brussels today and they began at Brussels airport this morning at
around 8am local time. A very busy time at the airport and at least 11
people dry, one explosion and then others ran from that explosion
towards the exits and there was a second explosion killing many
others. Then around an hour later there was a explosion on the
Brussels Metro at the heart of the city. It was rush-hour and at least
20 people were killed and many others injured. The devastating
attacks today have come just four days after the arrest of 26 she
ruled Salah Abdeslam, the man wanted in connection with the Paris terror
attacks that left many dead and it is. Today's -- today's attacks could
be a response to the arrest, or even fears among his accomplices that the
police services may be onto him. Let's hear no from the King of
Belgium who has been talking to his people and a special address.
For each one of us, 22nd March will no longer be a day
The broken lives, the deep wounds, our whole country bears this
The Queen and I share your pain - you, who have lost someone
close to you, or who have been
injured by the cowardly and despicable attacks today.
We give our support to the members of the emergency
Our gratitude also goes to all those who offer their help spontaneously.
As for the threat we face, we will continue to respond together
That was the king of Belgium talking to his people a short time ago and
we also heard from the Belgian Prime Minister who said today's backpacks
were violent and cowardly. He said this was a black day for Belgium and
Barack Obama has condemned the attacks as cowardly and odious. The
security threat level has been raised even further from the levels
of the yet was previously. There had been a series of police raids
throughout the day in response to what happened and also the police
have issued an arrest notice for one of the men seen on CCTV footage
entering the airport building early today pushing trolleys. One of those
men is believed to have survived and the other two have blown themselves
up and dry but one is not to be on the run. Let's get a report on the
day's horrific events. When a shaky voice tries to sound
reassuring. When a shaky voice tries to sound
reassuring, crying out from clouds of smoke that it is OK,
out of the debris of devastation, Seconds before this mobile phone
footage was filmed, these suitcases were in the firm grasp of crowds
of travellers, queueing A busy morning for businessmen
and women and families setting off This evening Belgian police released
this from an airport CCTV camera. This man is a key suspect, they
said. Just past 8am, they set
of twin explosions here. At least one of them was detonated
by a suicide bomber, Watch this father grab his infant
before running for cover. Bags and belongings no longer
held any importance, just their nearest and dearest
and their own lives. And then there were
the selfless and the brave. This man is a baggage handler
at Brussels airport. TRANSLATION: I heard a gunshot
and what sounded like Arabic. Then I heard, boom,
an enormous explosion. Afterwards, people ran
to the lift of the escalators. Two old people who came
towards me, I saved them. I put them in the lift
but they did not want to let I could not take them with me,
there were too many people there. An incident has just
occurred on the line... While he was saving lives,
elsewhere in the city, another group of bombers
was trying to take them. A nightmare come true
for every train traveller. People here were in between Metro
stops when a bomb went off Panicked survivors had
to pick their way Only once they had clambered back
to daylight did the horror I saw an explosion,
a flash of light. The windows came in,
the doors opened, and everybody The dazed and the injured
covered the pavements here, usually trodden by stiffly
dressed civil stunts. This bombing took place
near European Union headquarters, minutes from the
European Parliament. Brussels has turned into a city
of sirens and a centre of fear. Unconfirmed reports
of casualties there are Questions for Belgium's security
apparatus, supposedly on high alert after perpetrators of last
year's Paris attacks So-called Islamic State says it
masterminded the attacks The presumed message
from the bombers today - no-one is safe, not here,
not anywhere in Europe. TRANSLATION: In this black
moment for our country, now, more than ever,
I call on everyone to show TRANSLATION: This attack has struck
Belgium, but it was Europe We have to realise the gravity
of this terrorist attack. Belgians are in no doubt
as to the gravity of Similar to Paris, after the attacks
there, people here in Brussels are determined not to give
into terror, they say. When we found out about the news,
our children were already at school. When they are not with you,
you really are scared, especially as the attack
was near our school. It was the airport and then
the Metro and you do not I think people are ready
for extreme measures, what ever it takes
to keep people safe. This man told me he would walk
everywhere from now on, He blamed the Belgian
state for today's attack, for lack of intelligence, he said,
and decisive action. As messages of support came
in from around the world, the people of Brussels are gathering
in the city centre this evening to show solidarity, support one
another and pray for better times. we are here at Brussels
International Airport being kept away, a crime scene with the huge
investigation going underway with a big forensic search underway for any
clues. It is thought that two of the three people seen entering the
airport have been killed and a third is now on the run. Let's show you
know the latest life pictures from Brussels city centre from Maelbeek
station where so many people dry. At least 20 it
station where so many people dry. At As many as 106 injured, many of them
seriously. The airport death toll is thought to be 11 with 81 entered, so
around about 200 injured altogether and today's attacks and 31 at least
killed. You can see you're the scene, this is really a virtual and
as was said, an opportunity for the people of Brussels to save the want
to show solidarity and kill the terrorists just as after Paris they
cannot wind, even if they strike at the very heart of Europe and of
Belgium as it was today. Our correspondent Stephen Sackur
is in Brussels city centre. He was actually in the city centre
this morning when that attack on the Underground station happened. That
is right, I wasn't very close because I was actually attending a
conference just a short distance away, and it was extraordinary to
see what happened, people on the smartphones got social media
messages saying that had been a bomb attack and then a second attack, the
room was filled with tension and consternation and as he went on to
lock down it was quite a high-level meeting. The building was cloud off
and surrounded by armed police and a few soldiers as well and for several
hours nobody could get in or get out and there was just one indication of
what has been happening in this city today. It has been a day of terror
and chaos and heartache as has become clear that so many people,
believed to be 31 but possibly higher, lost their lives. One at the
airport and the one just a few hundred metres from where I am
talking to you now in the Maelbeek Metro station. It is a very strange
neighbourhood because it is full of official buildings but there is also
a neighbourhood were the a lot of people who live in rather nice
terraced houses, a very quiet neighbourhood. One of them who lives
here I am going to introduce to you know, you are British citizen but
you have lived in Brussels for the last 20 years. You happen to be very
close to the scene of the Maelbeek bomb. Just tell me what you
experienced. I left the square two minutes away from the Maelbeek
station, it has three entrances. I came out of my house at about five
past nine and I didn't hear an explosion but I could smell smoke.
Immediately two police cars were racing by and the speed at which
they were moving I knew they were responding something and as I was
walking towards the station, I saw people streaming away from the
station. Panic stricken. On their phones, text thing and running in
disbelief and panic. Could you see any signs of injuries are
casualties? There are only few people who came out not seriously
quite bloody, one woman, her face was cut and they were in their 40s
or 50s, very upset. Someone stopped a card on the road, a complete
stranger, and asked to take her to the hospital and he obliged. The
emergency services were just arriving. I am just wondering if you
are able to stay long enough to see how quickly the security services,
who have been on high alert, how quickly did they respond? They
responded quickly. The place was locked down and I would say within
ten minutes it was completely cordoned off. They work, and those
in balaclavas and ambulances and police so they were pretty quick. I
am interested to know how you have been feeling over the last few weeks
because there has been so much focus on Brussels and we now know there
has been some sort of network of activists, terrorists, who are based
in Brussels, and so much security activity including Belgian and
French forces in the city over the last few weeks, the bigger nest last
Friday and now this. Have you been feeling apprehensive? Brussels is
generally a very peaceful place. Anxiety is in everyone's mind at the
moment, because you are kind of expecting something to happen, and
with these terrorists being in Maelbeek apparently you felt
something would happen and that it would happen it would happen in the
European area, so there has been a certain amount of caution and
anxiety. We have to leave it there but thank you for joining us. Really
a very sad day for the people of this country. On that sombre note I
will hand back to you at the airport.
Thank you. I was here on Friday when Salah Abdeslam was arrested and it
was interesting to see armed troops patrolling the streets of Brussels
as they have been doing for weeks ever since the Palace attacks, so
there was already a heightened sense of security around the city, and
people were always fearful there would be an attack like the one we
have seen today, but desperately hoping it wouldn't happen but today
all the worst fears came true. It started here at Brussels
International Airport, a really busy time of the day and people were
coming in and going to check in for various flights around Europe, and
there was an explosion and many of them ran towards the exit and then
there was a second even bigger explosion and at least 11 we gather
were killed. The suspects it is believed were seen entering the
terminal building, two of them were killed and one may be on the run.
Let's get this report from Ben Wright.
They arrived here for holidays and work.
As the shattered airport billowed smoke a survivors described
Yes, I was, because we were in the one with all the glass
So you saw glass falling down, and people were like
You do not know where to run, so you go on the ground.
The man who was with me was like looking, what is happening?
All morning we saw fire crews and ambulances and the police coming
Some of the injured were bussed away for treatment.
It is about three hours after the explosions
Emergency vehicles continue to go towards the terminal.
There is a constant stream of people coming the other way,
pulling bags - holiday-makers, commuters, airport workers,
who had a Tuesday morning up-ended in terror and chaos.
Can you tell me where you werewhat did you see?
I had a dog and because of my dog, they said to me, go
And there we were when it exploded behind us.
If we were at the check-in, we exploded, too.
Also at the airport were a basketball team from Antwerp
You think it happens only in other countries but now it is in Belgium.
We have to make the best of it and just stay calm,
This woman and her family were heading to Venice for a cruise.
Although suffering minor injuries, she is just relieved to be alive.
planned to be far from here sat with their bags,
As we were hearing earlier, the attack at the Metro station very
close to European rain institutions. These attacks mark another low by
the terrorists in the service of hatred and violence.
Well, Dr Stephen Wright joins us down the line from our Leeds studio.
He's an expert in commercial aviation at the University of Leeds.
Thank you for being with us. Is there anything that airports like
Brussels International Airport and other airports around the world can
do to prevent an attack like this, a terrorists simply walking into the
Department journey the up and setting off bombs. That is the $64
million question, can we prevent this? The issue is that level of
protection is driven by intelligence and the fact to events have
transpired within 40 minutes of each other suggests that in this
occurrence, intelligence just isn't there and it has not been possible
for security services to offer that level of protection that perhaps we
in the UK are more accustomed to. Would it have helped, some
in the UK are more accustomed to. UC scanners and body checks before
people go in. Is that a possibility that European airports should be
considering? That is an interesting question. The problem I suspect is
the European model was to have centralised transport hub so one
would expect to more than European airports to have trains, buses,
pedestrian access, car parking, and if you're going to start screening
absolutely everybody that is going to enter, weird as the screening
likely to take place? It doesn't quite fit the standard model, and I
know it exists in other parts of the world but they don't have an
international train station immediately underneath a brand-new
terminal, so I do not think that is likely. In other words, there could
be more attacks like today's attacks at airports anywhere in Europe or
around the world? Potentially, that is always the less, but the risk is
mitigated by heightened levels of security such as plainclothes
officers, armed officers, the deployment of troops. These would-be
items that perhaps we wouldn't naturally want to advertise but
would the risk to a more acceptable level. This thank you for being with
us, an aviation expert talking to us from Leeds. Let's bring you
up-to-date with the latest information we have, if you are just
joining us. In terms of the attack at the airport where I am, the death
toll currently standing at 11 with some 81 injured and there were two
explosions here, a third device was also found and made safe afterwords,
a Kalashnikov rifle, and that Maelbeek station, 20 dead at least
and 106 injured, so a deadly and horrific day at the heart of Europe