A bronze sculture in Brussels Airport before and after the attacks.
This morning, Brussels Airport and Maelbeek subway station were both hit with explosions, killing (at least) 31 people and injuring more than 200. Here are the details that we know so far:
UPDATE #3: Belgian media outlet RTBF has revealed the names of two suicide bombers as brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui, from Brussels. Apparently, they were known by police — for organised crime, not terrorism. In addition, police raids across the country revealed a nail-filled bomb, chemical products and an Islamic State flag; this was found in a Schaerbeek neighbourhood residence.
Around 8AM this morning, two different explosions hit Brussels Airport in its Departures hall (near flight check-in counters). At least one of those blasts are said to have been set off by a suicide bomber. The airport was subsequently closed for all flights and is expected to remain that way until at least tomorrow.
About an hour later (some reports would claim minutes later), Maelbeek station — located downtown, near many EU buildings including the European Parliament — was then hit, right in the middle of the morning rush. Many of the injured were seen gathering at (the main, and usually busy, street outside the subway entrance) Rue de la Loi. Two suspects were arrested about a mile from the station.
Many are suspecting that the Brussels attack were carried out at least partially in response to the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, the remaining terrorist that took part in last year’s Paris attacks, which left 130 dead.
Islamic State (or ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks via his media arm; in addition, some reports state that the ISIS flag (and a nail bomb) was found following the attacks. With that said, the attack has yet to be verified as one by the hands of ISIS; in addition, representatives say that it’s still “too early to make a direct connection between the attacks in Paris and today’s attacks.”
Passengers are evacuated from Brussels airport, on March 22, 2016 in Zaventem, after at least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal of Brussels airport.AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS / AFP / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)