34 killed in Brussels airport, metro station blasts

Photo: Twitter.com (@wardmarkey)

Belgium officials have confirmed that 34 people were killed and over 170 others wounded in the coordinated bomb attacks at the Zaventem Airport and the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels, on Tuesday.

Local media reported that the police were engaged in an active man hunt for some of the suspects of the attack.

Reacting to earlier reports that the suicide bomber at the airport detonated his bomb at the checking counter of American Airlines, the airline released statement saying its employees and crew members were not injured in the blast.

“American is taking of employees and customers at Brussels Airport. At this time all our airport employees and crew members are safe and accounted for with no report of injuries,” the statement read.

As the country is struggling to come to grasp with the attack, local media have made appeals to people living near Zaventem airport to bring blankets, water, food and other essential medical supplies to a local gym being used as a temporary shelter.

Meanwhile, the CNN is reporting that President Barack Obama who is on a state visit to Cuba has been briefed on the blasts.

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“The president was apprised this morning of the explosions in Brussels, Belgium. US officials have been and will continue to be in close contact with their Belgian counterparts,” an official said after the blasts at Brussels airport and a metro station.

U.S. Republican party front-runner, Donald Trump, has reacted to blast characteristically saying he will close the U.S. border if elected president in November to stem the entry of would-be terrorists into the country.

“I would close up our borders … We are lax and we are foolish,” he told Fox News.

Similarly, the United Kingdom’s Ukip Party’s defence spokesperson, Mike Hooken, blamed the success of the attack on the freedom of movement within the European Union.

He said: “This horrific act of terrorism shows that Schengen free movement and lax border controls are a threat to our security”.

The Ukip is opposed to greater regional alliances in the EU.

Some of the casualties have been identified. The Slovenian foreign minister, Karl Erjavec, told journalists that one of his country’s diplomats was among the wounded. He said the unnamed diplomat was in hospital and his life was not in danger.

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