According to the latest BBC news, two of the men who carried out attacks in Brussels on Tuesday have been named by Belgian media as the brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui. The RTBF broadcaster said the pair were known to police. It is believed at least one was among three suspects seen in a CCTV image at Zaventem airport.
Twin explosions at the airport and another at a metro station on Tuesday left about 34 dead and 250 wounded. Why has Brussels been attacked? Brussels is home to the EU, Nato, international agencies and companies, as well as Belgium’s own government. Not only is Brussels a high-profile target for Islamists, Belgium has struggled with Islamist groups for years and hundreds of its citizens have been lured into fighting for IS in Syria and Iraq.
Belgium is observing three days of national mourning. So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it was behind the attacks and warned that more would follow. A minute’s silence for the victims will be held at midday (11:00 GMT).
RTBF (Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française, Brussels’ public broadcaster) said the brothers were known to police and had criminal records. The broadcaster said that Khalid el-Bakraoui had used a false name to rent the flat in the Forest area of the Belgian capital where police killed a gunman in a shootout last week.
It was during that raid that police found a fingerprint of Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris terror attacks of 13 November. He was arrested in a raid in Brussels last Friday and is due to appear before a pre-trial court on Wednesday.
It is not known if both of the brothers are in the CCTV image handed out by police of the three men at the airport.
The three men were seen pushing trolleys carrying suspected bombs at Zaventem airport just before the blasts at a check-in hall. They were believed to have died in the attack. Zaventem airport remains closed under tight security
The airport explosions happened in quick succession shortly after 08:00 local time (07:00 GMT), killing about 14 people. A third bomb was found and destroyed in a controlled detonation. About an hour later another explosion ripped through a train at the Maelbeek metro station in the Belgian capital, killing about 20 people.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Tuesday was “a day of tragedy, a black day”. The country has raised its terrorism alert to the highest level.
There continues to be outpourings of emotion and displays of solidarity online. Let us stand in prayer with all those affected by the tragedy in Brussels this week.
#PrayForBrussels #PrayForTheWorld #PrayForPeace
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the horrific attacks on our city. #PrayForBrussels ????????
— Divock Origi #27 (@DivockOrigi) March 22, 2016
— Micah Church London (@micahchurch) March 23, 2016