A Botched Attack in Brussels fuels Anxiety in Europe
Two failed terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels this week have put Europeans and travelers on alert, as the summer season begins.
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London, Paris, and now Brussels... again. In the weeks before summer begins, Europe has been facing a wave of "small" terrorist attacks that have put the population and travelers on alert.
On Tuesday night, Belgian soldiers shot dead a suspected terrorist after he attempted an explosion at the central train station in the capital.
A "small explosion" took place shortly before 8:30 pm at Brussels Central and soldiers on regular duty at the station "neutralized" the suspect, the spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office, Eric van der Sypt, said, adding that no one else was hurt, as reported in EFE.
Authorities ordered an evacuation of the station and nearby Grand Place, the capital's main square. Citing police sources, RTBF public television reported that authorities were actively searching for two other suspects.
The suspect shouted "Allahu Akhbar" (Arabic for "God is great") prior to the blast, another eyewitness told the VRTNiuews network.
Brussels - considered the capital of the EU - has been on high alert for more than 18 months, since Belgian-based ISIS terrorists carried out attacks in Paris that killed 130 people in November 2015, then bombed Brussels airport and the city’s metro in March last year, killing 32 people, as reported in The Guardian.
The explosion in the Brussels station came one day after another failed attack in Paris. On Monday, an armed man was killed in Paris after he rammed a car loaded with weapons and explosives into a police convoy on the Champs-Élysées. No pedestrians were injured.
And on Saturday, a Welsh man attacked a London mosque with a van, killing one person, injuring 8. The anti-Muslim attacker, identified as Darren Osborne, was described to the NY Times as a troubled man, belligerent and aggressive man.
Given the anxiety that terrorist attacks may cause in travellers and tourists heading to Europe this year, the NY Times has published a set of advises to "stay calm".