Brussels train station attack: Minister says assailant has been identified

Brussels train station attack: Minister says assailant has been identified

The blast came a day after a terrorist ploughed down Muslim worshippers leaving evening prayers in Finsbury Park, north London, and a man claiming allegiance to Isis crashed his auto into a police van on Champs-Elysees in Paris. He declined to say if the man had a criminal record.

"He was identified as O.Z, born on January 20, 1981, he was Moroccan, he was not implicated in terrorism-related activities", Eric Van der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor, said. It was a lucky escape for several travelers nearby.

Nicolas Van Herreweghen, who works for Belgium's national rail company, said the male suspect was very agitated, yelling about jihadists and then "Allahu akbar", Arabic for "God is great", before blowing up something on a baggage trolley. Nobody else was injured.

The man, who died instantly, was not wearing a suicide belt, contrary to some Belgian media reports, he said.

In sweltering heat, fans lined up early for security checks as they attended the first of two concerts by the band Coldplay at the 50,000-seater King Baudouin Stadium Wednesday night, with the concerts becoming another test of police security and public mettle.

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.

The busy Central Station in the heart of Brussels, which sits just beside the Grand Place tourist attraction, reopened around 8:00 am (0600 GMT) Wednesday, railway authorities said.

He entered the station and twice approached a group of around 10 passengers, the second time standing in the middle of them, prosecutors said.

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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.

Belgian press reported that the terrorist comes from Molenbeek, one of Brussels 19 municipallities known for years to be a hotbed for Islamist radicalism.

Central Station is one of the busiest in the nation and soldiers could be seen patrolling there after the explosion.

Belgian prosecutors say a man suspected of setting off a bomb at Brussels Central Station was a 36-year-old Moroccan national. The soldiers fatally shot the attacker.

The attack is being treated as a terrorist incident, and anti-terror authorities are heading up the investigation, he said.

The suspected suicide bomber was shot dead after he reportedly shouted "allahu akhbar" and set off his explosive in the city's train station.

A police officer patrols outside the prime ministers office in Brussels on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

A worker paints a ceiling in an area where a device exploded inside Central Station in Brussels on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

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