We’re waking up to devastating news from the heart of Europe, where three separate explosions have killed at least 28 people at Brussels Airport and a metro station. A further 55 are injured, 10 critically.
Just four months after the Paris terror attacks and days after the arrest of sought-after Paris mastermind Salah Abdeslam in the Belgian capital, early morning explosions rocked the Zaventem airport and a major metro station. It is very likely that the two attacks are connected.
At time of writing, there have been 26 reported dead; 13 at the airport following two explosions, and 15 in Maalbeek Subway Station after another bomb was detonated.
“What we feared has happened,” said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, calling it a “black day” for the country.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valis reacted to the news by declaring that Europe is at war. “We are at war,” Valis said. “We have been subjected for the last few months in Europe to acts of war.” He urged international cooperation with Belgium given the scope and complexity of cells operating in the small country.
Multiple outlets are calling it a suicide attack, while Reuters reports that a witness shouted in Arabic shortly before two blasts struck the packed airport departure lounge.
As the airport remains on lockdown and the metro stations close their doors, residents of Brussels are urged to stay home, with both incidents officially recognized as coordinated terror attacks. An additional 1,600 extra police officers will be situated at borders, according to televised CNN reports. An active manhunt for suspects connected to the attack is underway.
A video uploaded to YouTube shows people running in fear following the two airport explosions.
Airports and other transit hubs are on high alert in major cities across Europe, with flights and trains into Brussels cancelled and roads between France and Belgium also closed.
This is a developing story with numbers expected to fluctuate during the fluid situation.