Brussels was rocked by a string of explosions on Tuesday, first at the airport and shortly thereafter at a metro station, leaving at least 23 dead and over 130 injured.
The first two blasts occurred in the departure terminal of Zaventem airport near Brussels, Belgium and the third at the Maelbeek Metro Station, close to the European Union Building.
Airport officials immediately evacuated the airport as plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the building.
Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported the federal prosecutor in the case has confirmed that at least one of the airport explosions was a suicide attack.
Shortly afterwards, another explosion was reported – at Maelbeek Metro Station, close to the EU Building.
Airport officials have confirmed that all flights in and out of Zaventem airport have been cancelled and planes have been diverted.
Metro officials also confirmed that all stations have been closed.
Pictures posted to social media sites show large-scale damage to the airport terminal with most windows having been blown out.
The U.K Prime Minister David Cameron meanwhile immediately tweeted his shock.
He said: “I am shocked and concerned by the events in Brussels. We will do everything we can to help.”
Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium meanwhile issued an extraordinary warning on twitter: “For the moment, we ask people to avoid all movement.”
Martin Schultz, president of the European Parliament,also issued a warning via social media and told people to stay where they are and not attempt to leave. He said all public transport had been shut down.
“My thoughts with Brussels and its citizens after these heinous attacks. Stay in a safe place, follow instructions of authorities.”
Afghan CEO Abdullah Abdullah also condemned the attack via twitter.
“I strongly condemn the explosions in Brussles. I offer my sympathies and condolences to those affected by these incidents.
“Afghanistan as a victim of terrorism feels the pain of its allies. We pray for those who lost their loved ones to the terror,” he said.
He went on to say: “Such acts of terror prove that terrorism is our common enemy and it must be un-rooted wherever it comes from. Terrorism knows no religion, boundary or geography. It is an act against all beliefs, communities and nations all across the globe.”
The Belgian government has yet to make other official statements about this morning’s explosions but the country is in a state of high alert.
The governments of France and Britain have summoned emergency meetings of ministers to assess the situation.