Police raids are under way across Belgium following Tuesday’s deadly attacks at Brussels airport and on a metro train. At least 35 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in the twin attacks as authorities are desperately searching for a third attacker.
The twin bomb attacks on Brussels airport today may have been carried out by two suicide bombers and the police are ‘actively looking’ for a third attacker, the federal prosecutor said.
“There is a photo of three men taken at Zaventem airport and it is possible that two of them carried out a suicide attack while the third is being actively sought,” federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said, after police issued a wanted notice for the man.
Searches were taking place “in several parts of the country” and “several witnesses also were being heard,” said federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw after around 35 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the attacks.
Authorities have confirmed that at least 14 people had been killed at the airport, while around 20 people died in the metro blast.
Witnesses described horrific scenes at the airport, with victims lying in pools of blood, their limbs blown off.
There were chaotic scenes as passengers fled in panic, and plumes of dark smoke could be seen rising from holes punched through the roof of the building by the blasts.
“A man shouted a few words in Arabic and then I heard a huge blast,” airport baggage security officer Alphonse Lyoura told AFP, his hands bloodied.
“A lot of people lost limbs. One man had lost both legs and there was a policeman with a totally mangled leg.” An army team later blew up a third unexploded suspect package at the shuttered airport.
At Maalbeek station, paramedics tended to commuters with bloodied faces as the city’s normally peaceful streets filled with the wailing of sirens.
Airports across Europe swiftly announced they were boosting security, while across the Atlantic, New York and Washington ordered security personnel to crowded areas and train stations.
The 28 EU leaders issued a rare joint statement saying they would combat terrorism “with all necessary means” after what they called “an attack on our open democratic society.”
“The whole of Europe has been hit,” said French President Francois Hollande, whose country is still reeling from November’s attacks.
British Prime Minister David Cameron warned of the “very real” terrorist threat faced by countries across Europe, declaring: “We will never left these terrorists win.”
Messages of solidarity poured out on social media, with thousands of people sharing images of beloved Belgian cartoon character Tintin in tears.