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Belgium: Man reportedly carrying explosives shot in Brussels

21 Juin 2017

The blast is reported to have caused panic among an estimated 100 people who were inside the station at the time.

He said the man appeared to be 30 to 35 years of age. The federal prosecutor's spokeswoman, Ine Van Wymersch, stated that the suspect, who had been lying on the ground since he was shot by soldiers, was unable to receive treatment from medics due to their concern about him carrying explosives. It was a lucky escape for several travelers nearby.

The man wearing an explosive belt at Brussels Central station ran towards soldiers on patrol shouting "Allahu Akbar" - "God is great" in Arabic - before the blast, Van Der Sypt further said. Then the bag exploded "more violently", Van der Sypt said, but it still failed to fully ignite the canisters of gas that were contained within.

Police and military personnel acted quickly to clear the area around the central train station in Brussels on Tuesday night, and David says he was not allowed back into his hotel for a number of hours.

Brussels has been on high alert since suicide bombers struck the Zavantem Airport and Maalbeek metro station near the European Union headquarters in March 2016, killing 32 people and injuring hundreds more.

A concert by the band Coldplay at the King Baudouin Stadium will go ahead Wednesday night as planned, with additional security measures, Michel said.

The Belgian government is determined to "face a terrorist situation in Europe and not only in Belgium head on, and not to let ourselves be intimidated", Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters after convening his security advisers.

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Brussels Central Station reopened this morning as station personnel were seen cleaning the spot where the attack took place.

He was not known to the police for terrorism-related activities, Van Der Sypt said.

Belgium's Crisis Centre, which monitors security threats in the country, said it did not see a need to raise the country's terror threat to the highest level and kept it at the second-highest mark.

People in the area were pushed away from the scene, and police on Twitter urged the public to follow instructions given by the authorities.

A suspected terrorist bomber who was shot by Belgian soldiers in Brussels after setting off an explosive on a train that neither killed nor injured anyone is likely part of the "surge of amateur" terrorists who are lashing out as the Islamic State falters, according to an expert.

Belgian authorities say they foiled a terror attack when troops shot and killed a suspected suicide bomber at Brussels Central Station.

Police and forensic officers remove items during a house search in the Molenbeek district of Brussels on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.