The explosion reported in Brussels Tuesday was caused by a suspected suicide bomber. The suspect was reportedly wearing a backpack carrying explosives when he blew himself up at Belgium’s Central Station, the capital’s busiest railway station.
Images taken at the scene seem to show something on fire, some reports say it may be an individual. Belgian Rail says traffic was stopped at the station and local media report a small blast there.
According to reports, gunfire was heard soon after 9pm local time. The suspect was “threatening civilians,” according to one investigator. Police and soldiers arrived to “neutralize” the suspect.
Federal police confirm that there was an explosion and that they “opened fire” on a man, with a senior Belgian law enforcement official confirming that a single suspect was been shot by the military.
“The attacker was shot several times, and it appears that he triggered a device,” The Daily Mail UK reports via a source.
One witness said the police tried “to save him, but he is dead.” Police sources confirmed that the attacker was seriously injured and that he died from his wounds.
— CNN International (@cnni) June 20, 2017
Tabloid newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported that witnesses say a man shouted “Allahu Akbar” in Arabic before the explosion.
Authorities didn’t know if the suspect was acting alone or if there was an additional threat. Tourists and commuters were evacuated, and business establishments in the vicinity began shutting down. According to reports, tourist hot spot The Grand Place was completely evacuated.
A Belgian Police spokesman said that central station is now under control following the incident. According to the spokesman, “There was an accident at Central Station. There was an explosion around a person. That person was neutralized by the soldiers that were on the scene. At the moment, the police are in numbers at the station and everything is under control.”
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