Belgian PM says attacks are 'black day', many dead

AFP , Tuesday 22 Mar 2016

(Left to Right) Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and Vice-Prime Minister and Interior Minister Jan Jambon give a press conference after the multiple explosions in Brussels at the airport and in the Brussels' metro, on March 22, 2016 in Brussels (Photo: AFP)

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Tuesday that the "blind, violent and cowardly" attacks on Brussels airport and the metro system were a "black day" for the country and had left many dead.

"This is a day of tragedy, a black day," Michel said on national television, with the death toll put at 21 so far and expected to rise further.

"Two attacks took place this morning in Zaventam airport and Maalbeek metro station, blind, violent, cowardly attacks," Michel said.

"There are many dead and many wounded, some of them seriously," he said.

Federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, sitting alongside Michel, said that of the two blasts at the airport "one was probably caused by a suicide bomber."

Officials had warned there could be reprisals by Islamic extremists after the arrest in central Brussels Friday of key Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam.

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