Four days after Salah Abdesalam, the most wanted suspect in the November 13, Paris attacks that killed 130 persons was arrested in Brussels, Belgium, three explosions hit the country’s airport and metro station on Tuesday, killing no fewer than 34 people.
At least 230 others sustained injuries in the attacks, which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility, according to the AMAQ News Agency.
This came as President Muhammadu Buhari and his United States counterpart, Barack Obama, called for international cooperation to fight terrorism.
The AMAQ news agency said, “Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting the airport and the metro station in the centre of the Belgian capital Brussels.”
Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, had told reporters, “We feared terrorist attacks, and that has now happened.”
Belgian federal Prosecutor, Frederic Van Leeuw, on Tuesday, also said that it was too soon to know exactly how many people died in the bombings.
According to CNN, Belgian state broadcaster, RTBF, citing emergency services, reported 20 dead at the Maelbeek metro station and 14 more killed at Brussels’ international airport.
After the explosions, Belgian authorities hit the streets looking for those responsible for the carnage and who might launch more attacks.
Reuters reports that a witness said he heard shouts in Arabic and shots shortly before two explosions struck the packed airport departure lounge.
Van Leeuw said a suicide bomber probably triggered one of the explosions.
Meanwhile, Buhari, on Tuesday, joined world leaders in condemning the attacks.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President commiserated with Prime Minister Charles Michel and Belgians over the loss of lives in the attacks.
The statement read in part, “President Buhari believes that the appalling attack on Brussels reinforces the need for greater international cooperation to effectively confront and destroy global terrorism and its perpetrators.
“The President assures the global community that under his leadership, Nigeria will continue to work with other countries to ensure that terrorism never triumphs over free, peaceful and law-abiding nations and people of the world.
“He wishes the more than 100 persons injured in the attacks a speedy recovery.”
Also, Obama, who spoke in Cuba, said there was need for international cooperation to fight terrorism.
Obama said, “We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world.”