Belgium has identified station bomber

Elias Hubbard
June 24, 2017

Central Station is reopening to passengers on Wednesday morning, with a heavy police presence.

Belgian authorities said they foiled a "terror attack" when soldiers shot a suspect in the heart of Brussels after a small explosion at a busy train station Tuesday on a night that continued a week of attacks in the capitals of Europe.

"The terrorist was identified", Jambon told RTBF broadcaster.

Federal prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt said: "The suspect has been neutralised by the military that were present at the scene immediately after the explosion".

He then ran back up to the concourse where commuters had been milling around and rushed toward a soldier shouting "Allahu akbar" - God is greater, in Arabic.

Crying rail passengers fled the station after the explosion, with memories still fresh of last year's metro and airport suicide attacks in the city that hosts the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters. On Monday, an armed man was killed in Paris after he rammed a auto loaded with weapons and explosives into a police convoy on the Champs-Élysées.

Several media outlets reported unnamed sources as saying the device that failed to fully explode was filled with nails and was similar to the bombs used in the attacks at Brussels airport and on the city's metro that killed 32 people in March 2016.

The city has been on high alert for more than 18 months since Brussels-based Islamic State militants carried out attacks in Paris that killed 130 people in November 2015.

The attack happened at around 8.30pm, well after the evening rush hour.

Nicolas Van Herrewegen, an employee at Brussels Central, told reporters the suspect had cried allahu akbar and detonated something on a luggage trolley. Photos posted on social media showed a small fire in the station.

The Belgian Foreign Ministry said there is no indication of other incidents but the threat level remains at 3, which warns of a "possible and likely threat". [The suspect] was still around but after that, we didn't see him.

Belgium would keep its terror alert level at three on a scale of four, Michel said after chairing a meeting with his national security council.

Michel, the prime minister, hailed the "courage" of security forces. "People were running away". The man was shot dead, and Edenderry man David Hickey has been describing the scene.

Train services at two other stations in the capital, Brussels North and Brussels South, were also disrupted.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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