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Terrorism Watch Magazine

Summary: Explosions in Brussels on 22 March 2016; you should follow the instructions of the Belgian security authorities; if you’re worried that a relative may have been affected you can call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 0000

 

There have been explosions at Zaventem International Airport in Brussels on 22 March 2016. There has also been an explosion at Maalbeek station in central Brussels. The airport is currently closed. The Eurostar service to Brussels is not operating at this time. See the Eurostar website for further detail. Public transport in Brussels has been suspended.

The Belgian authorities are advising the public to remain where they are. If you’re affected by the incident follow the instructions of the Belgian security authorities. The Belgian threat level is Level 4 – a serious and imminent threat. You should remain alert and vigilant, stay away from crowded places and avoid public transport at this time. You can find more information on the Belgian Crisis Centre website and Twitter feed.

British officials in Brussels are being given the same advice to avoid crowded places and the public transport network.

The Belgian Crisis Centre has given the Belgian telephone number 00 32 2753 7300 for concerned family/friends or 1771 for general enquiries. If you’re worried that a relative may have been affected you can also call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 0000.

There have been a number of police raids and arrests in the Brussels region and other Belgian cities in recent weeks. Belgian security operations are likely to be carried out at short notice. If you’re in an affected area you should follow the instructions of the Belgian security authorities. Police have asked the public not to comment on police operations on social media. Police operations are likely to continue in Forest and Brussels; you should follow the instructions of the local authorities.

Public events and busy public areas across Belgium are likely to see additional security. Some public events may be cancelled and some tourist attractions closed. Contact event organisers for information on whether specific events are going ahead.

You should check this travel advice for updates and subscribe to email alerts.

Travelling via Calais? Check our travel advice for France.

Up to 1.8 million British nationals visit Belgium every year. Most visits are trouble-free. Take out travel and medical insurance before you travel.

If you need to contact the emergency services in Belgium call 112.

If you’re travelling to commemorate the First World War centenary, see this information and advice page to help plan your trip and make sure it’s safe and trouble free. Some sites will become extremely busy at certain times of the year, and some may have access restrictions.

When visiting former WW1 battlefields in north west Belgium, stay on the footpath and exercise caution if you see anything that looks like shells or munitions. Unexploded shells have recently been uncovered. Move away from the site and call the police emergency number 112 to report any incidents.

European summits and demonstrations often take place around the Schuman area. They can cause some disruption and access to the British Embassy and the British Consulate General can be affected. Check local news and transport sites: train & metro info and also road info.

Theft and pick pocketing is a problem in crowded areas. Take care of your belongings and passports at all train stations in Brussels. See Crime

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

***Source: FCO