A suspected suicide bomber who allegedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ before triggering an explosive vest at Brussels Central Station has been gunned down and killed by soldiers.
Shots rang out soon after 8pm UK time as police and soldiers moved in to ‘neutralise’ the man, who was said to be ‘threatening rail passengers’ in what is being considered a terrorist incident.
Initial reports suggested the suspect – described as being ‘tanned and well-built’ – was wearing a rucksack packed with explosives, while witnesses later claimed he tried to blow up a trolley or a suitcase.
Terrified passengers inside the station ran towards the tracks as they tried to avoid the blast while tourists outside fled in panic. Within a few minutes the busy nearby shops and restaurants were shut down.
The Grand Place, the city’s most popular tourist spot, was completely evacuated alongside the station 650 metres away because of fears that the man might not be acting alone.
There were no other casualties reported and police quickly said the situation was ‘under control’.