Security high at Brussels stations after man explodes device
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Security high at Brussels stations after man explodes device

Central Station to reopen in wake of suspected jihadist attack that closed the rail hub overnight

Police patrol outside Central Station in Brussels on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Police patrol outside Central Station in Brussels on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS — A Belgian official said security will remain high Wednesday at Brussels rail facilities after a man blew up an explosive device at the city’s Central Station.

According to a witness the suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) before blowing up a wheeled suitcase. Belgian media also reported that he was wearing some kind of suicide vest.

Pictures on social media showed what appeared to be a small ball of flames.

Soldiers at the scene then shot and killed the man. No one else was hurt in the incident.

Soldiers have been guarding the station since the March 2016 terror attack in the Belgian capital.

Central Station, one of the city’s three main stations, was due to reopen early Wednesday. Staff had begun arriving at the station in the morning but a police cordon was still in place.

Police officers on a street outside Gare Centrale in Brussels on June 20, 2017, after an explosion. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)
Police officers on a street outside Gare Centrale in Brussels on June 20, 2017, after an explosion. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon told VRT broadcaster that it is important to address security concerns but avoid overreacting.

He warned “against a society where we always and everywhere will be checked. If we do that, it would be fulfilling the aim of the terrorists.”

Shortly after the incident, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted: “Thanks to our soldiers, security forces and SNCB (rail company) personnel for their professionalism and their courage.”

He said he would hold a meeting of his national security council on Wednesday at 9 a.m. local time (7 GMT).

Belgium’s national crisis center said it was keeping the country’s terror level at three out of four, adding that there was no immediate information to suggest that another attack was imminent and that it should be raised to the top level.

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