By John Casey
At least 32 people have been reported dead and many more injured in a series of explosions in Brussels this morning.
— David Common (@davidcommon) March 22, 2016
The first explosion occurred at Brussels Airport at around 8 am local time. It was reported that shots were heard along with shouting in Arabic. The airport has since been evacuated. No flights are allowed to land or depart until further notice.
A second bomb went off at the Maalbeek metro station close to the EU headquarters. The metro service has also been closed.
The Belgian prosecutors office has indicated that it believes the attack at the airport to be the result of a suicide bombing. The Belgian government has acknowledged that there has been casualties but has refused to be drawn on how many people have been hurt.
— Slate (@Slate) March 22, 2016
Belgium has been moved to its highest possible threat alert level. Belgian prime minister Charles Michel described the attacks as “blind, violent and cowardly” and described them as “a tragic moment in our nations history.” These explosions occurred four days after the capture of Salah Abdesalam by Belgian authorities. He was wanted in connection with last year’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny declared his support for Belgium. Mr. Kenny condemned the attacks in a tweet this morning.
“Once again Europe is under attack. We stand with Belgium. Those using death and violence must and will be defeated,” he said.
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) March 22, 2016
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan stated that “any Irish citizens in Brussels and Belgium should exercise caution and closely follow the instructions of the local authorities.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs has encouraged anyone who is concerned about an Irish citizen in Brussels to contact them at 01-4082000.