Man 'wearing explosive belt' shot by police at Brussels Central station


Belgian soldiers have shot a man suspected of being a would-be suicide bomber at Brussels Central Station, officials say, the BBC reports. It was evacuated amid the incident along with the Belgian capital's Grand Place, a major tourist site about 600ft away.

The incident is considered a terrorist attack, he said, declining to comment on "rumors" that the suspect was shouting "Allahu Akbar".

He shouted, "Allahu Akbar", before the blast.

He said it was still unclear if the man was dead and his identity was still unknown.

With Islamic State under pressure in Syria - where Belgium has been the most fertile European recruiting ground for foreign Islamist fighters - he said attacks in Europe could increase, although many would be by "amateurs" doing little harm.

One passenger tweeted: "Explosions at Brussels Central". Images posted on social media showed a small fire on the floor of a wide passageway that leads down to trains.

Local media say that a man wearing a "bomb belt" set off a small explosion and that he has since been shot and captured by law enforcement.

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Belgian media say the suspect was a 37-year-old man from the Molenbeek neighborhood, the home and transit point for numerous suspects linked to bloody attacks in Brussels and in Paris in November 2015. "The situation is under control".

The suspect was "neutralized" by Belgian soldiers, immediately after a blast occurred at around 8:30 p.m. local time (1830 GMT) on Tuesday evening, according to the Federal Prosecutor's office. Train services at two other stations in the capital, Brussels North and Brussels South, have also been disrupted by the incident. Only hours later, after bomb disposal teams had cleared the area, was the man confirmed dead.

"The suspect was neutralized by soldiers", Van Der Sypt said.

The explosion caused chaos at the station, Arnaud Reyman, a spokesman for Infrabel rail network operator, told the Independent.

Some witnesses said they heard a second explosion followed by gunfire, which may have been a flash grenade thrown by soldiers as they attacked the suspect.

Belgium's National Security Council will meet Wednesday morning to address the incident.

Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people at the Brussels airport and a subway station on March 22, 2016.