A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt Tuesday at a train station in Brussels, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.
The attacker – who, according to Nicolas Van Herrewegen, an employee at Brussels Central Station, shouted, “Allah Akbar,” before triggering the explosion – was shot by soldiers at the scene.
“The attacker was shot several times, and it appears that he triggered a device,” a source with knowledge of the investigation told the Daily Mail.
A witness to the incident, Rémy Bonnaffé, stated on Twitter that he heard two loud explosions followed by “quick popping” sounds. A photo accompanying the description shows an object on fire that Bonnaffé assumed to be an exploded suitcase.
Twee luide ontploffingen in Brussel Cebtraal. Voor mijn neus. Dan snelle knallen na elkaar. pic.twitter.com/FDqVAjgGYg
— Rémy Bonnaffé (@remybonnaffe) June 20, 2017
The central station and The Grand Place, a highly-trafficked tourist spot, was evacuated shortly after. Police reported no civilian causalities as a result of the bombing.
The attacker was killed during the altercation and was left at the scene for several hours over fears of additional explosives.
Herreweghen, the train station employee, said the suspect, a tanned male wearing black jeans and a white shirt, had wires around his waist.
“I saw that he had something on him because I could see wires emerging, so it may have been a suicide vest,” Herreweghen told The Sun.
“It wasn’t exactly a big explosion but the impact was pretty big. People were running away.”
Brussels has remained on high alert since 32 people were killed last year by ISIS suicide bombers at the city’s airport and metro.
Last August a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” attacked two policewomen with a machete in the Belgian town of Charleroi.
This story is developing and will be updated as new information becomes available
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