Brussels Explosion Now Considered a Terror Attack

Ross Houston
June 21, 2017

BELGIAN soldiers shot and killed a suspected "terrorist" bomber after an explosion rocked a central Brussels train station Tuesday in the latest attack to hit Europe.

"This is considered as a terrorist attack", federal prosecutor's office spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt told a news conference outside the station. Police evacuated the station, Gare Centrale, as well as the nearby Grand Place.

Suicide bombings on the city's subway and at an airport killed 32 people past year.

Soldiers guarding the station neutralised one person inside the station after a small explosion and there are no other casualties, Reuters news agency reports.

The Central Station is one of the busiest in the nation and soldiers could be seen patrolling there after the explosion.

In March 2016, 32 people died in attacks on Brussels claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and Interior Minister Jan Jambon are following the situation "very closely" from the crisis center, said the prime minister's spokesperson Frederic Cauderlier.

"I went down the mezzanine level, someone was shouting".

Witnesses reportedly told local media that they heard the man yelling before screaming, "Allahu Akbar" in Arabic.

The police and military have taken measures in the surrounding areas, and roads near the station were closed to vehicle traffic and pedestrians. Authorities have since announced that the situation is now under control. There was a second blast further away, which he could not see, followed by what sounded like gunfire, prompting him to run.

"It wasn't exactly a big explosion but the impact was pretty big", he added.

"I would put him at about 35 years old".

A large number of police and soldiers are deployed around these two sites in the heart of Brussels. "Looked around, saw people running in the streets, trying to seek refuge and chose to do the same ourselves".

Local media quoted some witnesses as saying that the explosion was caused by a man with an explosive belt.

Authorities set up a wide perimeter around the station, located near the city's famed Grand Place square.

Other reports by iNewsToday