BRUSSELS — Soldiers shot a suspect in the heart of Brussels after a small explosion Tuesday night at a busy train station continued a week of extremist attacks in the capitals of Europe.
A bomb squad performed a controlled explosion of a bomb belt the suspect had at the Central Station and was checking to see if there more hazards, VTM network reported. Authorities set up a wide perimeter around the station, located near the city’s famed Grand Place square.
It appeared no one else was injured besides the suspect and the damage from the explosion was limited, Brussels prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch told VRT. It was not clear if the suspect survived.
National newspaper La Libre Belgique quoted the prosecutor’s office as saying the suspect was wearing a backpack and an explosive belt. The information could not be immediately confirmed. Photos posted on social media showed a small fire in the station.
Brussels police said via Twitter that there was “an incident with an individual at the station. The situation is under control.” They asked the public to follow police instructions.
The Central Station is one of the busiest in the nation and soldiers could be seen patrolling there after the explosion. It was evacuated along with the Belgian capital’s Grand Place, a major tourist site about 200 metres (656 feet) away.
Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people on the Brussels subway and at an airport in March 2016.
There have been incidents involving extremists in Paris and London in recent days, including the attack by a van driver who tried to run down worshippers outside a London mosque.
The Associated Press