Belgian capital Brussels was targeted Tuesday with a series of terror attacks on its Zavantem airport and metro system. There are reports of at least two dozen fatalities with transport services in the European administrative capital suspended until further notice. The attacks come only days after the suspected ringleader in the Paris terror attacks last November, Salah Abdesalam, was dramatically captured in Brussels. The city is now in lockdown with Eurostar trains to and from Brussels suspended. Two loud blasts took place in Zavantem, with Belgian security sources stating their belief these were suicide attacks around 07.00 local time. A further large explosion took place at Maalbeck train station.
European nets were dominated by the attacks with French, Belgian, UK and German news channels all covering the breaking news, which was timed to hit the start of the business day in continental Europe. Security has now been ramped up across Europe, including Paris and London’s Gatwick airport.
The attack is believed to be the worst perpetrated in Brussels since the Second World War. Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel offered a sombre press conference, declaring, “‘What we feared has happened, we were hit by blind attacks.” Both the city and the country had been on high alert following the capture alive of Abdesalam. Citizens are being advised to be cautious in their movements around the city.
Already, the Kinepolis cinema in Brussels has issued a tweet that it will remain closed today out of respect for the victims and also to ensure the security of their customers. Warner Bros’ Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice had been due to open in the country tomorrow.
Social media has also kicked into full gear with Facebook’s Mark Safe function turned on to enable people to reassure loved ones of their safety. Belgium’s most famous export, the animated character Tintin, has already appeared in tweets and memes as people express their sympathies for the victims and their horror at yet another terrorist atrocity on mainland Europe.