Global News

Suspect shot after explosion at Brussels train station

Suspect shot after explosion at Brussels train station

The Belgian government is determined to "face a terrorist situation in Europe and not only in Belgium head on, and not to let ourselves be intimidated", Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters after convening his security advisers.

Belgium is now at its second highest level of security alert.

There have been attacks in Paris and London in recent days, including the attack by a van driver who tried to run down worshippers outside a London mosque.

However, Van Der Sypt said the device, consisting of nails and gas canisters inside a bag, caused only a partial explosion, after which the man rushed to a soldier on patrol shouting "Allahu akbar" - God is great in Arabic.

Molenbeek, an impoverished borough with a big Moroccan Muslim population just acrossBrussels' industrial canal from its historic center, gained notoriety after an Islamic State cell based there mounted suicide attacks on Paris in November 2015 that killed 130 people.

It partially exploded and caught fire before blowing up a second time. "Fortunately, nobody was hurt", Van Der Sypt said.

Molenbeek was the home and transit point for numerous suspects linked to attacks in Brussels and in Paris in November 2015. The man left his baggage and went down to the platform following the head of the train station. A police spokesman said it was still unclear if the suspect had died, after other officials had described him as having been killed.

Scotland pays tribute to service personnel with Armed Forces Day parades
Six Year old Luca Gordon from Edinburgh with ex-service personnel from Legion Scotland after they marched down the Royal Mile during the ninth annual Armed Forces Day in Edinburgh.


"He was not known to the authorities for any terrorism connection", Van Der Sypt said, declining to give the man's full name while the investigation continues.

Earlier reports had claimed that the attacker had worn an explosive belt, although those claims were dismissed.

Belgium would keep its terror alert level at three on a scale of four, Michel said after chairing a meeting with his national security council. Although no civilians were killed in the blast, authorities say they were treating the incident as a potential terror attack.

Security will be particularly beefed up at the 50,000-seat King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, where British rock band Coldplay is scheduled perform later on Wednesday.

Belgian rail company spokeswoman Elisa Roux said "there were people crying, there were people shouting" after the explosion.

He described the suspect as well built and tanned with short hair, wearing a white shirt and jeans.


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