Less than a week after Istanbul was attacked by a suicide bomber, Brussels is now reeling from two explosions in its main international airport and another at Maelbeek metro station near the EU headquarters.
At least one of the explosions is being called a suicide bombing. Reports say that 14 people were killed and 92 injured at the airport, while 20 were killed and 106 wounded at the subway station.
“This is a day of tragedy, a black day,” said Prime Minister Charles Michel. “I would like to call on everyone to show calmness and solidarity.”
“This is yet another reminder that the world must unite, we must be together, regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism,” said President Barack Obama from Havana. “We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people around the world.”
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, wrote that the Eiffel tower will be lit up with the colors of the Belgian flag as an act of solidarity.
All forms of public transportation in Brussels are currently shut down. The train lines Eurostar and Thalys have suspended services to Brussels. Michel has asked residents to “refrain from all movement” until it is confirmed there is no immediate threat of additional violence. Belgium has mobilized additional police officers and strengthened border security. France has also increased security, ordering 1,600 police officers to patrol the border and centers of public transportation. Amtrak, in the United States, has increased its security as well, stating that “robust security measures are in place at stations, on trains and along the tracks.”
The Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack via its official telegram channel.
According to its statement, “Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station in the center of the Belgian capital Brussels, a country participating in the coalition against the Islamic State. Islamic State fighters opened fire inside the Zaventem airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station.”