Culture&Arts

Brussels attacker identified as Moroccan unknown to authorities as terror suspect

Brussels attacker identified as Moroccan unknown to authorities as terror suspect

Photos posted on social media showed a small fire in the station. There were no other casualties apart from the suspect, who was confirmed dead by prosecutors hours after the attack. The man, identified only by his initials, O.Z., was known to police but had no previously discovered terrorist ties, the prosecutor said.

CBS News is reporting the Moroccan man was shot after he charged at the authorities following the failure of his bag - which reportedly contained nails - to completely explode.

Brussels has been on high alert for more than 18 months after it emerged the Islamic State militants who carried out attacks in Paris, killing 130 people in November 2015, were based in Brussels, and the fact that the city's airport and metro in March a year ago, claiming 32 victims.

A unit for the removal and destruction of explosive devices was also deployed to the station, according to the Twitter account of the Brussels police.

Barker said the incident brought memories of two attacks in March 2016 when suicide bombers struck the metro system and an airport in the city, killing 32 people and wounding hundreds more.

'He did not wear a belt with explosives, ' the statement said, correcting earlier reports by national media. Meanwhile, heavily armed police officers and soldiers surrounded the train station and sealed off the entrances, according to witnesses and video from the scene.

Belgian Army soldiers patrol inside Central Station in Brussels on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.




Grand Place, a major tourist site which lies about 200m (656ft) away, has also been evacuated.

The man then returned to the hall where he left the suitcase and rushed at a soldier patrolling the station, shouting "Allahu akbar". He declined to say whether police were aware of him for any other kind of offense.

"I was behind a wall when it exploded", the witness, railway sorting agent Nicolas Van Herrewegen, said. "We have been able to identify him".

Michel said Belgium would keep its terror alert on level three of four.

"Once again, France's security forces have been targeted in an attempted attack on the Champs-Elysées", Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters Monday, adding, "The auto contained weapons, explosives, enough to allow him to blow up this vehicle".

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel hailed the "courage" of security forces and said he would chair a security council meeting on Wednesday morning.

"We do not know if the man is still alive or that he is dead", Van der Sypt added.


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