Huge manhunt after Brussels attacks
March 23 2016 12:21 AM
HUGE
The damaged facade of Zaventem Airport in Brussels after yesterday’s explosions.

AFP/Brussels

Belgium launched a huge manhunt yesterday after a series of bombings claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group ripped through Brussels airport and a metro train, killing around 35 people in the latest attack to bring carnage to the heart of Europe.
Two huge blasts, both possibly caused by a suicide bomber, hit the check-in hall at Zaventem Airport, strewing the scene with blood and mangled bodies and sending hundreds of terrified travellers fleeing in terror.
Belgian authorities released pictures of two of the suspected suicide attackers pushing trollies through the terminal and said they were “actively searching” for a third whose bomb failed to go off.
The fact that extremists were able to hit high-profile targets in Brussels, Europe’s symbolic capital, just months after IS militants killed 130 people in Paris, will raise fresh questions about the continent’s ability to cope with the terror threat.
It also underscores doubts about how Belgium has allowed extremism to develop unchecked, coming just four days after the dramatic arrest in Brussels of key Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam after four months on the run.
“This is a day of tragedy, a black day,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said and announced three days of national mourning after the “deadliest attacks we have ever seen in Belgium”.
Belgian King Philippe condemned the “cowardly and odious” assault.
The Islamic State claimed the bombings, saying “soldiers of the caliphate” had carried out the attack against “the crusader state” of Belgium.
Hundreds of flights and trains were cancelled yesterday as security across Europe was tightened after the bombings, which Michel branded “blind, violent and cowardly”.
But he insisted Belgium would not be cowed.  

Qatar condemns explosions

Qatar has expressed its “strong condemnation and denunciation” of the explosions that occurred yesterday morning at Brussels airport and a metro station. In a statement issued yesterday, the Foreign Ministry said  “Qatar strongly condemns the criminal bombing which contradicts with all human values and principles and aims to terrorise the unsuspecting innocents and destabilise international peace and security”.



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