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Brussels Terrorist Attacks, Explosions Kill at Least 32: ISIS Claims Responsibility, Bombers’ Names, Photos Released

UPDATE, 5.15 a.m. ET

Belgian brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui have been named as the two ISIS airport suicide bombers. According to Belgium’s state broadcaster RTBF, it’s thought they escaped a police shoot-out in Brussels just eight days earlier.

The third member of the squad, pictured below wearing white, was named as Najim Laachraoui by Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure. He is believed to be the bomb maker, and is also suspected of rigging up the suicide vests used in the Paris massacres.

Laachraoui is still on the run after leaving his suitcase which was packed with explosives but failed to detonate, and walking calmly out of the terminal shortly before the other explosions. His bomb was later neutralised by police.

UPDATE, 7:00 p.m. ET

According to Belgian newspaper HLN, a taxi driver told police he unknowingly drove the suspects to the airport, and when he tried to help the men with their luggage, he was abruptly instructed not to touch their belongings. Police investigated the Schaerbeek area of the city where the taxi driver picked them up shortly after the attacks. Law enforcement found a nail bomb, ISIS flag and chemicals at a nearby property. 

UPDATE, 4:00 p.m. ET

The Belgian prosecutor’s office told NBC News that multiple raids were conducted in Schaerbeek, where several possible links to the Brussels attacks on Tuesday, March 22, were found. Authorities found an ISIS flag and an “improvised explosive device containing nails,” NBC reported. 

UPDATE, 1:58 p.m. ET

Belgian police have released a photo of a possible suspect who was in the Brussels airport prior to the explosions across the city that claimed the lives of at least 32 people on Tuesday, March 22.

“He is suspected of having committed the attack at the Zaventem airport on Tuesday, March 22, 2016,” police wrote on Facebook of the man, clad in a dark hat in sunglasses. The other two men in the photo were believed to have died when two of the bombs were detonated. The man in the cream jacket is being sought by authorities. Their names have not been released. 

In this image provided by the Belgian Federal Police in Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 of three men who are suspected of taking part in the attacks at Belgium’s Zaventem Airport. The man at right is still being sought by the police and two others in the photo that the police issued were according to a the Belgian Prosecutors ‘probably’ suicide bombers.

The Associated Press also reported Tuesday afternoon that another bomb had successfully been deactivated, following two deadly explosions at the city’s Zaventem Airport. The other site of the deadly explosions was at the Metro stop of Maalbeek. The bombs contained nails, officials at the Hospital Gasthuisberg told NBC News. 

UPDATE, 12:23 p.m., ET

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks in Brussels that have claimed the lives of at least 34 people, ABC News reported on Tuesday, March 22. NBC News’ counterterrorism consultancy deemed a post by ISIS affiliate Amaq Agency claiming responsibility for the terrorist explosions as legitimate.

The terror group claimed that it “carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices” in “the Belgian capital Brussels, a country participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State [ISIS].” 

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UPDATE, 10:52 a.m., ET

A series of explosions took place across Brussels Tuesday morning. At least twenty of the victims were apparently at a metro station and the others were at the airport. Hundreds of people were injured by the attacks, including three Americans who were “seriously injured.”

Up to two blasts occurred at the city’s Brussels’ Zaventem Airport. One was blamed on a suicide bomber, according to the AP. 

Passengers are evacuated from Zaventem Bruxelles International Airport after a terrorist attack on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium.

The city’s mayor, Yvan Majeur, told the AP that the subway blast killed 20 people and injured more than 100. The country’s ministry of health said there were at least 11 fatalities at the airport. 

U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the attacks from his historic planned speech in Havana, Cuba. “The thoughts and the prayers of the American people are with the people of Belgium,” Obama said. “We stand in solidarity with them … This is another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.”

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso in the hisoric Habana Vieja, or Old Havana, neighborhood March 22, 2016

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Presidential front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump also shared their responses to the attacks while calling in to the Today show. “First of all, this is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. I’ve been talking about it much more than anyone else. It’s probably why I’m number one in the polls,” Trump replied. “I would be very, very tough on the borders and not allowing certain people into this country without absolute perfect documentation.”

His Democratic counterpart had a very different response. “We’ve got to be absolutely smart and strong and steady in how we respond,” Clinton said. “It’s unrealistic to say we’re going to completely shut down our borders to everyone.”

Tributes were shared from all over the globe, including one standout cartoon by French artist Plantu. The cartoonist’s work shows a figure in a French flag shedding a tear and wrapping an arm around its crying counterpart in the Belgian national flag.

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ORIGINAL STORY, 6:15 a.m., ET: 

The federal prosecutor in the case had confirmed that the airport explosion was a suicide attack. Shortly after the airport blasts, another explosion went off at a subway station in the suburb of Maalbeek, close to the European quarter where much of the European Union is based. All metro stations in the city have now been closed and police have advised all foreign nationals to stay at home or indoors.

People react outside Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday March 22, 2016.

Eyewitnesses told CNN that “dozens” of people were taken out of the airport on stretchers. The airport tweeted that there had been two blasts and the building was being evacuated. All airport operations have been suspended.

Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, has tweeted his reaction to the situation. “My thoughts with #Brussels and its citizens after these heinous attacks. Stay in a safe place, follow instructions of authorities.”

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The Belgian government has raised the terror alert level to 4 across the country, the highest level, amid fears that the attacks are retaliatory strikes after the Friday arrest of Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in last year’s Paris massacre.

This story will be updated as details become available.

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