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BREAKING NEWS: At Least 28 Dead After Suicide Bomber Detonates Near American Airlines Check-In Desk At Brussels Airport Before A SECOND Blast Hits Metro Station Just Yards From EU Headquarters-UPDATE
- At least 13 people killed after two explosions struck near the American Airlines check-in desk at 8am (7am GMT)
- Reports of a firefight between police and attackers seconds before they shouted 'in Arabic' and detonated bombs
- Terrified passengers covered in blood ran for their lives after explosion sent 'shockwaves' through terminal building
- Another blast killed 15 at a Metro station near EU headquarters in Maelbeek area of central Brussels just after 9am
- Two suspects arrested a mile from train station at around 11am as hundreds of troops and police flood the streets
- Comes a day after Belgium minister warned of revenge strikes after arrest of Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam
At least 28 people have been killed and dozens injured in Brussels after a series of terror attacks struck the city's airport and a metro station near the EU headquarters.
Witnesses described apocalyptic scenes with blood and 'dismembered bodies everywhere' after two blasts detonated near the American Airlines check-in desk at Brussels Airport at 8am (7am GMT) in a suspected suicide bombing. At least 13 people have died and 35 were injured.
Then 79 minutes later at 9.19am, at least 15 people were killed and 55 injured, some critically, when a blast hit a Metro station just 400 metres from the EU headquarters in the city centre.
At the airport, there were reports of a firefight between police and the attackers who shouted in Arabic moments before detonating their bombs.
The blasts sent shockwaves through the terminal building, shattering windows and knocking roof tiles off the ceiling as terrified passengers ran for their lives.
The explosions have left countries worldwide reeling, with security placed on high alert, flights cancelled, Eurostar services suspended and France's border with Belgium shut down.
Two suspects were arrested a mile from the Maelbeek metro station at around 11am as hundreds of troops and police flooded the streets of Brussels in the hunt for members of the terror cell.
Soldiers have been also been deployed at the airport and other key locations across Brussels as Belgium raised security to its maximum level.
The bombings come just a day after the Belgium Interior Minister warned of possible revenge attacks after the arrest of Paris massacre suspect Salah Abdeslam in the city on Friday.
FIRST ATTACK: At least 13 people have died and dozens injured after two explosions rocked Brussels Airport in a terror attack this morning
Shocking: Injured passengers are covered in blood and dust after the explosions rocked the terminal building at Brussels Airport
SECOND ATTACK: The image above is being used by the Belgian media who claim this is the damage caused by the bomb at the Maelbeek Metro station in central Brussels 79 minutes after the first attack. It has not been verified but is being widely circulated on social media
Aftermath: A man lies stricken on the pavement as survivors kiss in relief after surviving the bombing at the Metro station in Maelbeek
Two suspects were arrested a mile from the Maelbeek metro station at around 11am as hundreds of troops and police flooded the streets
Two men are pinned to the floor and handcuffed by police as soldiers stand guard near the North station in central Brussels
Photographs from inside the arrivals hall showed the floor covered in fallen tiles and dust as bloodied people hobbled out of the airport. Others injured were photographed lying on the floor.
Video showed terrified passengers running for their lives out of the building.
Firefighters who entered the terminal to search for survivors are said to have found a third unexploded device, while armed police in protective clothing combed the building for more wounded travellers and suspicious bags.
Samir Derrouich, who works at a restaurant in the airport, told MailOnline: 'The two explosions were almost simultaneous.
'They were both at a check-in desk. One was close to the Starbucks. It was awful. There was just blood. It was like the apocalypse.'
Dries Valaert, 30, was waiting to get his boarding pass from a check in desk when the blast struck.
He said: 'There was a first blast and then ten seconds later a second explosion. It was a big, big blast, the ceiling went down. It was just 30 metres from where I was.
'I saw people down on the ground and I just went running. I jumped over the security fences towards the departure gates as I thought it would be safer.
'My first intuition was to get out in case their were attackers with guns. I saw a woman around 18 years old with a hole in her hand with blood pouring out and a man with an injured ankle and two people down. There was lots of panic. People were running all over the place.'
Mr Valaert, who was flying to a business meeting in Berlin, said he believed the bombs were hidden in suitcases that had just been checked in.
He said: 'The explosions were just behind the service desks, they were blown towards us. To me it is the most realistic possibility. I don't think it was someone with a suicide vest.'
A soldier walks through debris after two explosion rocked a terminal building at Brussels Airport
Firefighters search the terminal for explosives and survivors (left) as a man lies injured on the terminal floor
A man lies injured on the floor after two explosions rocked the the American Airlines check-in desk
Hundreds of terrified passengers ran from the terminal, some of them covered in blood, after the blasts rocked the building at 8am
Shouts in Arabic were reportedly heard before the explosions which sent shockwaves through the terminal building, shattering windows
Survivors wrapped in blankets leave the scene of explosions at Brussels-Zaventem airport in the wake of the suicide bomb blasts
Blown out: The explosions sent shockwaves through the terminal building, shattering windows and knocking roof tiles off the ceiling
Air stewardesses look shocked as they flee the terminal building in the wake of the suspected suicide bombing
Stunned: Staff walk away from Brussels airport after explosions rocked the building in Brussels
Two blasts rocked the American Airlines check-in desk (above) at Brussels Airport at 8am (7am GMT) in a suspected suicide bombing
Alphonse Youla, who was working on a stand putting security wrapping around suitcases, said: 'I heard a man shout some Arabic words then an explosion... then a second explosion, a massive explosion, much bigger.'
Speaking with blood on his hands and struggling to hold back tears, he added: 'It was a horror. I saw at least seven people dead. There was blood. People had lost legs. You could see there bodies but no legs.'
He added: 'I saw two men face down with blood pouring out of their heads. The injuries were so awful. You cannot imagine. People were so injured.
'I did not see the man who shouted in Arabic as he was behind me. I just heard the words. I don't speak Arabic so I don't know what he said.'
In the aftermath, thousands of people waiting for flights this morning were penned inside the terminal as police sealed off the shattered arrivals hall.
People already checked in were then slowly evacuated through emergency exits – but were told to leave all their hand luggage as police checked bags for more explosives.
Evacuated passengers are being ferried onto buses and are being driven to a 'crisis centre' away from the airport, with women and children being moved first.
All flights are being diverted from the airport this morning as it remains on lockdown.
Bravery: People are treated, comforted and given water by the emergency services as they help the wounded
Second attack: A person lies injured on the floor after an explosion was heard at the Metro station in the centre of Brussels
Rescue effort: A Maelbeek victim is carried on to a stretcher as Brussels is hit by a string of bombings
Evacuation: Those on the tube network were evacuated from smoke-filled tunnels and walked along the tracks to the nearest station
Panic: Commuters in the Metro described a bang, and a rush of air that made their ears pop before they tore open the train doors and walked down the track to the closest station
Flights due to land at Brussels-Zaventem, which handles 21million passengers a year, were sent to Antwerp, Liege, and Brussels Charleroi airports.
Europe's biggest airports are all increasing their security today. Heathrow confirmed it had stepped up its own 'visible' security in the wake of the attacks – with large units of armed police patrolling the airport this morning.
Terrorists then blew up a crowded Metro station in the city centre at around 9.19am, killing at least 10 people and seriously injuring dozens more.
Shocking images from Maelbeek station show smoke pouring out of the building and casualties littered on the pavement outside, just 400metres from the EU's headquarters.
Commuters on the Metro at the time described hearing a loud bang before they were evacuated from trains and forced to walk down smoke-filled tunnels and along the track to the closest safe station.
Emergency services at the scene were carrying the dead and injured out of the station on stretchers.
Alexandre Brans, 32, who was wiping blood from his face, said: 'The metro was leaving Maelbeek station when there was a really loud explosion. It was panic everywhere. There were a lot of people in the metro.'
Brussels resident Shigeo Sugimoto said he was one stop away from where the metro was hit and heard people shouting.
He wrote on Facebook: 'I am fine !! But I was in the metro when suddenly some one start shouting explosions!!! Evacuation!!!
'Ouch!!! I was just one station ahead before when explosion happened!!!!!!!!'
He posted pictures showing cars and people standing in the road and wrote: 'Maerbeek (sic) now apocalypse!!!'
Second attack: Around 90 minutes after the airport blasts, there were reports of an explosion at a station (pictured) in the centre of the city
Lockdown: Rue de la Loi, which runs outside the station, is sealed off by police and emergency services in the wake of the 9.19am attack
Mr Sugimoto said he saw a man with blood on his face in the vicinity of Maelbeek station in the EU quarter, near the European Commission's main building.
He was at Arts-Loi station, one ahead of Maelbeek, and told the Press Association: 'On the ground, there were already people walking every direction to distance (themselves) from metro and the Belgian army were there trying to make people calm.
'I saw a guy, blood over his face, dragged by another person. Then police start blocking the street and I could only see ambulances go and come.'
Evan Lamos was among the thousands of commuters on tube trains this morning when the network was attacked.
He was on two stops away from Maelbeek and the passengers on his train were evacuated from the carriages into a smoke-filled tunnel and then walked along the tracks to the exit at the nearest station.
He said: 'There was a dull thud. We felt a blast of air and my ears popped shortly afterwards. The Metro stopped immediately'.
The Belgian Interior Minister has raised the country's security level to 'maximum' this morning as it prepares itself for more terror attacks in the wake of the airport bombings.
British Prime Minister David Cameron offered his support to victims and called a COBRA emergency committee meeting to address the events in Brussels.
He tweeted: 'I am shocked and concerned by the events in Brussels. We will do everything we can to help.
'I will be chairing a COBRA meeting on the events in Brussels later this morning.'
The explosions came as the Belgian capital was on a state of high alert following the arrest of Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam in the city last week.
Belgium's Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, said the country was on high alert for a possible revenge attack following the capture of 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam in a flat in Brussels on Friday.
'We know that stopping one cell can... push others into action. We are aware of it in this case,' he told public radio.
France is seeking Abdeslam's extradition so he can stand trial for his alleged role in the November 13 rampage of gunfire and suicide bombings that killed 130 people in Paris.
Belgium is under great tension, with its federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw saying yesterday that last year the country worked on 315 new anti-terror cases and nearly 60 so far this year.
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