World

At Least 34 Dead After Massive Bombings In Brussels

CREDIT: AP Photo

In this image taken from TV an armed member of the security forces stands guard as emergency services attend the scene after a explosion in a main metro station in Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Explosions rocked the Brussels airport and the subway system Tuesday, killing a number of people and injuring many others just days after the main suspect in the November Paris attacks was arrested in the city, police said.

The city of Brussels is on lock-down after a series of massive explosions at the airport and metro system Tuesday morning. At least 34 people are dead, and hundreds more have been wounded.

ISIS, the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attacks only hours later.

“Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station in the centre of the Belgian capital Brussels,” read a statement from the Amaq Agency, an outlet which shares news about ISIS and is a key part of the groups’ propaganda efforts.

The statement also referenced Belgium’s role in the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS and asked asked supporters to use social media users appropriately to “fill our stuff into the Brussels hashtag on Twitter.”

A third bomb found at Brussels Airport was detonated safely around noon on Tuesday.

Leaders around the world have expressed their solidarity with those affected by the attacks. Speaking from Havana, Cuba, President Obama said that the United States “will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible.”

“This is yet another reminder that the world must unite,” he added. “We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.”

The attacks come after the arrest last week in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of helping carry out the November 13 attacks in Paris.

Shortly after the attack, the Prime Minister of Belgium warned residents to “stay inside.”

The Deputy Prime Minister advised that people attempting to make contact with individuals in Brussels use messaging apps rather than the phone system, which is overloaded.

Belgian citizens also scrawled messages of support in colored chalk on the streets and offered to help those affected by the attacks with the hashtag #ikwilhelpen.

Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani contributed to this report.

This is a breaking news post and will be updated.