Explosion in Brussels treated as terror attack

Belgian prosecutors say they are considering explosion in Brussels central station a terrorist attack.

Elad Benari,

Belgian troops following explosion at Brussels Central Station, June 20, 2017
Belgian troops following explosion at Brussels Central Station, June 20, 2017
Reuters

Belgian federal prosecutors said on Tuesday that they are considering the explosion set off by a man in the central station of Brussels a terrorist attack, Reuters reported.

Federal prosecutors spokesman Eric Van der Sypt told reporters at a arranged news conference near the station that he could not confirm if the attacker, who was shot by troops patrolling the station, was still alive, nor give any details about his identity.

"At about 8.30 p.m. there was an explosion in the central station, relatively small in size. The suspected perpetrator was neutralized by the soldiers present. We cannot confirm if the man is still alive or dead. There were no further victims. We are considering this as a terrorist attack," he was quoted as having said.

Van der Spyt declined to comment on witness accounts that the man who was shot had shouted Islamist slogans, including "Allahu Akbar" before detonating the explosive device.

Police had quickly evacuated the station and surrounding areas of historic downtown Brussels after the incident. There were no other casualties other than the man who set off the device, officials said.

As Prime Minister Charles Michel consulted with his security advisers, the national alert level was maintained at its second highest level, according to Reuters.

Belgium has been targeted by terrorists in the past. In March 2016, terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) carried out a coordinated attack at Brussels Airport in Zaventem and Maalbeek metro station in the city, killing 32 people.




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