Suspect shot after explosion at Brussels train station

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 28, 2017

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel said that the shooting of the suspect "could have been potentially very dangerous".

But he said that while security would be stepped up, the country's terror alert level would be kept stable.

Brussels has been on high alert since suicide bombers struck Zavantem Airport and the Maalbeek metro station near the European Union quarter in March 2016, killing 32 people and injuring hundreds more.

There have been attacks in Paris and London in recent days, including the attack by a van driver who tried to run down worshippers outside a London mosque.

Meanwhile, Belgian media reported that the assailant lived in the largely immigrant Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek, a home and transit point for a number jihadis who carried out terror attacks in Brussels and Paris past year.

"The suitcase immediately caught fire".

The bomb that he detonated consisted of a suitcase containing nails and gas bottles, Van Der Sypt said as he gave a dramatic account of the attack.

Molenbeek has a large immigrant population and was home to some of those involved in Islamic State attacks on Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016. "Fortunately, nobody was hurt". The man then left his luggage burning and went down to the platform in pursuit of a station master. Nails were also packed into the bag, he said.

The soldier opened fire, hitting the man several times and killing him on the spot.

"He was not known to the authorities for any terrorism connection", Van Der Sypt said, declining to give the man's full name while the investigation continues.

But in a possible measure of security concerns, police closed several streets midday Wednesday around Antwerp's central train station, and a large-scale search appeared to be underway, Belgian media reported.

The center that monitors security threats in Belgium says the available information so far doesn't yet merit going to the highest possible terror alert level.

Rail company spokeswoman Elisa Roux said Tuesday evening that trains were diverted from the station and buses sent out to take passengers to the area.

The male suspect was reportedly agitated, yelling about jihadists and then "Allahu akbar", Arabic for "Allah is great", before blowing up something on a baggage trolley.

"It wasn't exactly a big explosion but the impact was pretty big". The attacks on Zaventem airport and the Brussels metro were claimed by ISIS.

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