Just before 8 a.m. local time, Tuesday morning, two explosions struck the departure hall at Zaventem Airport, just outside the Belgian capital of Brussels. Approximately an hour later, an explosion went off at Brussels’ Maelbeek subway station.
So far, according to Belgian state broadcaster RBTF, the airport explosions killed at least 14 and injured 81, while the subway explosion killed at least 20 and injured 55. As of now, most are reporting the death total at 34, while estimates of the total injured go as high as 170. Of course, sadly, both numbers will likely continue to climb.
A little after 11 a.m. EDT, news outlets began reporting that ISIS was claiming responsibility for the attacks, according to the group’s affiliated AMAQ news agency. In AMAQ’s own words:
Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station in the centre of the Belgian capital Brussels.
ISIS involvement is, of course, not much of a surprise given what happened in Brussels last week. On March 18, Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving member known to be involved in last fall’s Paris attacks, was captured by authorities in the Molenbeek area of Brussels. The possibility of a revenge attack was of course apparent to the Belgian government. “We were fearing terrorist attacks,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters, “and that has now happened.”