Brussels terrorist attacks draw worldwide condemnation
Muslim figures, European leaders and international organizations have strongly condemned Tuesday’s bloody terrorist bomb explosions in the Belgian capital city of Brussels.
Issuing a statement hours after the attacks, Egypt’s top Muslim authority, al-Azhar, strongly condemned the blasts, saying these “heinous crimes violate the tolerant teachings of Islam.”
The Cairo-based body urged the international community to confront the “epidemic” of terrorism,” saying, “If the international community does not unite to confront this epidemic, the corrupt will not stop from committing heinous crimes against the innocent.”
Hezbollah, Syria condemn Brussels attacks
In a separate development and in reaction to the terrorist attacks in Belgium’s capital, the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, said Europe is being burnt by same fire lit in Syria and Middle East “by some regimes.”
“The fire that Europe in particular and the world in general is being burnt by is the same one that some regimes ignited in Syria and other states in the region,” Hezbollah said in a statement issued to condemn the attacks.
Meanwhile, Syria’s state news agency, SANA, said the Syrian government condemns Brussels attacks which are the “result of wrong policies” on terrorism.
EU foreign policy chief reflects on Brussels attacks
Speaking at a press conference in Jordan’s capital, Amman, European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the Brussels blasts marked “a very sad day for Europe as Europe and its capital is suffering the same pain that this region has known and knows every single day.”
She added that it was already clear that the Belgium blasts were attacks that stemmed from radicalization, and called for European and Middle Eastern leaders to work together to tackle the scourge.
“We are still waiting for more precise news on the dynamics of the attacks in Brussels but it is quite clear the roots of the pain we are suffering around our region are very much the same,” Mogherini said, adding, “We are united in not only suffering… but also reacting to these acts and preventing radicalization and violence together.”
NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also commented on the incidents in Brussels, saying that the explosions that ripped through Brussels airport and a city metro station mark “a dark day.”
Hollande: Brussels attacks hit “the whole of Europe”
French President Francois Hollande also issued an statement on Tuesday, saying that the attacks in Brussels struck at “the whole of Europe.”
“Through the attacks in Brussels, the whole of Europe has been hit,” Hollande said, urging the continent to take “vital steps in the face of the seriousness of the threat.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, for his part, said: “We are at war. Over the past few months in Europe we have endured several acts of war.”
Germany: Brussels attacks aimed at entire EU
In a separate development, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the Brussels attacks appeared to be aimed not just at Belgium but at the entire European Union and its freedoms.
“It seems that the clear targets of the attacks – an international airport, a metro station close to EU institutions- indicate that this terrorist attack is not aimed solely against Belgium but against our freedom, freedom of movement, mobility and everyone in the EU,” de Maiziere told a news conference in Berlin.
Cameron condemns “appalling” attacks in Brussels
British Prime Minister David Cameron has also condemned the “appalling” attacks in Brussels and urged European countries to stand together against the threat of terrorism.
“We will never let these terrorists win,” Cameron said after an emergency cabinet meeting in London.
He added, “We face a very real terrorist threat right across the different countries of Europe and we have to meet that with everything we have.”
The British premier said his country would “absolutely stand with” Belgium “at this very difficult time.”
Ankara, GCC slam terror attacks in Brussels
Meanwhile, both Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman strongly condemned the Brussels attacks.
“I condemn the attack. It shows once again the face of global terrorism that took place in Brussels this morning and I express my condolences to the government and people of Belgium,” Davutoglu said.
He once again invited “humankind to act together against every kind of terrorism” including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, known as the DHKP-C, and the Daesh Takfiri group.
Secretary General of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdullatif al-Zayani, said in a statement that the six-nation body offered its support to Belgium
The bloc comprises Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
UN chief condemns ‘despicable’ attacks in Brussels
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement on Tuesday condemning deadly attacks in Brussels by describing them as “despicable” and demanding those responsible to be brought to justice.
“The despicable attacks today struck at the heart of Belgium and the center of the European Union,” said Ban’s statement, adding, “The secretary-general hopes those responsible will be swiftly brought to justice.”
Belgium declares three days of national mourning
The Belgian government has announced that the country will observe three days of national mourning in the wake of the deadly bomb attacks in the capital, Brussels, which left around 35 people dead and over 200 wounded.
“All national flags on public buildings will be at half-mast through Thursday,” Frederic Cauderlier, spokesman for Belgian premier, Charles Michel, was quoted by AFP as saying.
A government official also stated that the Brussels airport will remain closed through Wednesday.
“The airport will remain closed through Wednesday,” the airport’s chief executive, Arnaud Feist, said in a message posted on the Zaventem airport’s official twitter feed.
Daesh claims responsibility for Brussels attacks
Later on Tuesday, the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the two bomb attacks in the Belgian capital, Reuters reported a news agency affiliated with the group as saying.
AMAQ agency said Daesh terrorists “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.”
Tuesday bomb attacks at Brussels airport killed 14 people and left more than 90 wounded, a spokesman for the fire services told AFP.
“There are 96 wounded and 14 dead. These figures are likely to change; we hope to have complete figures by this evening,” the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, a local Brussels mayor said a separate bombing in a metro station killed around 20 people and injured 106.