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Live Blog: Brussels Attacks

People light candles at a makeshift memorial at Brussels' Place de la Bourse.

People light candles at a makeshift memorial at Brussels' Place de la Bourse.


Latest News

-- Belgian authorities have identified the bombers. Federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw has said that Ibrahim El Bakraoui blew himself up at the airport. His brother Khalid blew himself up in a subway car at Maalbeek station in central Brussels.

-- The two men shown pushing baggage carts with Ibrahim El Bakraoui in security-camera footage have yet to be identified.

-- Belgian media, which earlier reported the arrest of a prime suspect in the attacks, said the person detained was not, in fact, Najim Laachraoui.

-- Belgium is observing three days of mourning after bomb blasts in Brussels killed at least 34 people and wounded more than 200.

19:53 23.3.2016

17:43 23.3.2016

Belgians, including a Muslim cleric and a local artist, give their thoughts, a day after suspected Islamic extremists killed at least 31 people in suicide bombings in Brussels. They were speaking at a community gathering to honor the dead in the center of Brussels.

17:21 23.3.2016

Erdogan: Turkey deported one of the Brussels attackers:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says one of the Brussels attackers was caught in Turkey in June and deported to Belgium.

Erdogan said on March 23 that the Belgian authorities released the suspect despite Turkish warnings that he was "a foreign fighter."

Erdogan did not name the attacker. He said the man was detained at Turkey's border with Syria at Gaziantep and that Turkey formally notified Belgian authorities of his deportation on July 14.

Erdogan said "despite our warnings that this person was a foreign terrorist fighter, Belgium could not establish any links with terrorism." (Reuters, AP, AFP)

15:18 23.3.2016

15:06 23.3.2016

14:44 23.3.2016

We are going to see a lot more of this:

14:40 23.3.2016

14:16 23.3.2016

Vox has a video explainer on why ISIS attacked Brussels.

14:00 23.3.2016

Just a reminder of yesterday's events. A series of videos showing the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

13:44 23.3.2016

And here is our latest round-up from our news desk:

Brussels residents struggled to regain a semblance of normal life, while Belgian authorities said two brothers had carried out suicide bombings in the attacks that killed at least 31 people at the city’s main airport and the metro.

Federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said that airport bomber Ibrahim El Bakraoui had left a will on a computer before the March 22 attacks, which stunned Europe and were claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

El Bakraoui’s bother Khalid blew himself up in a subway car at Maalbeek station in central Brussels, Van Leeuw told a news conference. He said two other men captured by surveillance cameras at the airport with Ibrahim had yet to be identified.

"The [subway] suicide bomber was identified by his fingerprints. He is Khalid El Bakraoui, Ibrahim's brother, born in Brussels on January 12, 1989, a Belgian national," Van Leeuw said. “The two dead terrorists had a heavy criminal record not linked to terrorism."

The Brussels subway, the scene of carnage during the morning rush hour a day earlier, was partially running again on March 23. Security was tight, with soldiers checking passengers' bags at station entrances.

The district hosting the European Union institutions reopened to vehicles but Zaventem airport is scheduled to remain shut at least until March 25.

The terrorism alert level throughout Belgium remains at its maximum level following the attacks, which an Islamic State website said were conducted by its "soldiers of the caliphate."

Van Leeuw said the attacks killed at least 31 people and wounded 270. Authorities said the death toll could rise because some of the victims of the subway bombing were blown to pieces.

Photos and videos posted on the Internet showed gruesome scenes of destruction at both sites.

Belgium is observing three days of mourning for victims of the worst extremist attack ever in Brussels, which hosts the EU and NATO headquarters.

As they tried to resume their daily lives, shocked residents still grappled with the horror of the attacks.

"This is going to make me rethink a lot of things," Michelle Sinn, a European Commission employee, told Reuters. She said the threat of terrorism "is clearly here" and it would now be difficult for Brussels residents to ignore it.


Linda Van Den Bossche called the attacks a "horrible" experience but said she was determined to continue enjoying life in her home city.

"Terrorism is coming close in a scary way," she said. "But still, Brussels is a beautiful city. We are not going to let our lives be dictated by the terrorists."

Speaking late on March 22, Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said he shared these emotions but called on Belgians not to give in to fear.

"I think we have to give a place for these emotions," he said. "On the other hand, in our daily life we have to -- after some days of sadness -- we have to continue our life; because what [terrorists] want is to destabilize our society."

The attacks have sparked an international outpouring of sympathy, with leaders across the world extending their solidarity with Belgium.

U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the "outrageous attacks against innocent people, and EU leaders expressed anger over what Sweden's prime minister called an "attack against democratic Europe."

The attacks also prompted calls for tougher counterterrorism measures.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged the EU parliament to authorize a passenger name record that would cover the whole of Europe.

"There is an urgent need to strengthen the external borders of the European Union," he told French radio.

He said Islamic State has "stolen a large number of passports in Syria" and that heightened vigilance was required to prevent people from crossing into Europe with false passports.

Belgium has been in the spotlight since militants living there helped carry out coordinated attacks that killed 130 people in Paris on November 13.

The Brussels blasts came four days after Salah Abdeslam, the chief surviving suspect in the Paris attacks, was captured following after a shoot-out in Brussels. Belgian security forces had been on alert for any reprisal action.

Media reports said one of the brothers suspected of carrying out the bombings used a false name to rent a flat in a Brussels where police killed a gunman last week.

During that operation, police found fingerprints of Abdeslam. He was arrested last week in Brussels and is awaiting trial. The first hearings have reportedly been postponed for a day to March 25 due to security concerns in the Belgian capital.

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