Belgium Foils Terror Attack at Brussels Central Train StationJohn Martens and Aoife White
Belgian soldiers shot a suspected assailant in downtown Brussels after a minor explosion at the Central train station caused mass panic but didn’t injure anyone.
The station was evacuated shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday and all trains were halted as passengers fled onto the rails amid the sound of a detonation and gunshots, according to railway company SNCB. The Interior Affairs Ministry confirmed in a statement that military staff intervened to “neutralize” an individual.
Belgian authorities have “no idea” about the identity of the attacker at this point nor they could immediately confirm that the suspect was dead, Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for Belgian federal prosecutors told reporters in Brussels.
The incident is considered a terrorist attack, he said, declining to comment on “rumors” that the suspect was shouting “Allahu Akbar.” The attacker detonated a luggage case after shouting “Allahu Akbar,” news agency Belga cited a railroad worker as saying.
Belgium’s government has kept the country at the second-highest threat level after terrorist attacks in the subway and at the airport killed 34 people in March 2016.
Prime Minister Charles Michel is monitoring the situation closely, his office said, and Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever praised the “decisive action” by soldiers patrolling city streets.