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Terror Attacks in Brussels Leave at Least 34 Reported Dead

UPDATE: The Islamic State has reportedly claimed responsibility for attacks on an airport and metro station in Brussels, claiming in a statement that "Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices."

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Rachel Blevins
Rachel Blevins is a journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

[UPDATE: Manhunt Continues as Police Identify Bomb Suspect, Suicide Bombers] 

11:30 a.m. EST: The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Reuters reported. A statement from the group said, “Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station in the center of the Belgian capital Brussels.”

11 a.m. EST: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement claiming that three Mormon missionaries on a trip to Paris, France, “were seriously injured in Tuesday’s explosion at the Brussels airport.

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The church identified the injured missionaries as Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi, Utah; Joseph Empty, 20, of Santa Clara, Utah; and Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy, Utah.

10:30 a.m. EST: At least 34 people have been reported dead following multiple explosions at an airport and on a metro train in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday, resulting in reports of a terrorist attack.

The New York Times reported that at least one of the explosions was caused by a suicide bomber, and as a result, Belgium “raised its terror alert to the highest level, diverting planes and trains and ordering people to stay where they were.”

Belgian Health Minister Maggie de Block said that 14 people were killed and 81 were injured after twin explosions were heard at Brussels’ Zaventem airport around 07:00 GMT.

An hour later, an explosion was reported at Maelbeek metro station, leaving 20 people killed and 55 injured, according to transport officials.

The attacks occurred four days after Salah Abdeslam, a suspect from the Paris terrorist attacks in November, was arrested in Brussels.

In response to the attacks on Tuesday, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said“What we feared has happened,” and claimed that although there was no evidence linking the explosions to Abdeslam, the suspect had said he “created a new network and was planning new attacks.”

Reuters noted that while Belgian “police and combat troops on the streets had been on alert for any reprisal action,” after Abdeslam’s arrest, the attacks “took place in crowded public areas where people and bags are not searched.”

In an address following the attacks, President Barack Obama said that “We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people around the world.”

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Annabelle Bamforth contributed to this article.

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