Swedish man injured in deadly Brussels blasts

Brussels Attacks
Swedish man injured in deadly Brussels blasts
Ambulance staff at the scene of an explosion at a Brussels metro station. Photo: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Swedish man injured in deadly Brussels blasts

    "We have information about a Swedish man, but his injuries are not believed to be serious. We are keeping in touch with his family," foreign ministry spokesperson Johan Tegel told The Local.
    He said the ministry had no information about any other Swedes involved in the attack.
    The injured man, who the Expressen tabloid reported is in his fifties, is understood to have received a minor shrapnel wound in the explosion at Brussels airport on Tuesday morning.
    Meanwhile, Swedish officers were placed on alert and additional patrols ordered for airports and other undisclosed locations in Sweden, said the national police in a statement.
    “Following the explosions in Brussels, police presence is being strengthened at Swedish airports and safety and security building measures increased.”
    It added it was cooperating closely with Swedavia, which operates airports in Sweden; the national security police Säpo, civil contingencies agency MSB and the foreign ministry.
    The attacks in the Belgian capital come three weeks after Sweden lowered its national terror threat level back down to three on a five-point scale, after raising it to a record four ('high') in November.
    Säpo said it was keeping a close eye on developments in Belgium, but added on Twitter that Sweden's terror alert would for now remain at a steady level-three ('elevated').
    The Brussels airport was hit by two explosions shortly after 8am, then at around 9.20am there was another explosion at the Maelbeek metro station in the city, which is located about 500 metres from EU buildings. There were reports of another underground blast nearby.
    Belgium's health minister later confirmed that 11 had died in the airport explosions. Metro operator Stib confirmed 15 casualties in the metro blast, however unconfirmed police reports claimed the death toll could rise. More than 100 were left injured, according to reports.
    The Belgian prosecutor said that at least one of the airport explosions was a suicide bombing, confirming the fears that the capital was targeted by terrorists.
    There were no immediate reports of nationalities of the dead. Swedes in Brussels were urged to contact the Swedish Embassy in Belgium.
    "Our main goal right now is to make sure that there are no Swedes among the victims," said interior minister Anders Ygeman at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

    Brussels airport being evacuated on Tuesday. Photo: AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert
    The blasts come just days after the arrest in the city of Salah Absdeslam – the chief suspect from the Paris terror attacks who had been on the run for four months.
    Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven described the explosions as an attack against European democracy.
    “It is an attack against democratic Europe. We will never accept that terrorists attack our open societies,” he said in a statement.
    All flights to Brussels were cancelled following the blasts. Sweden's EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström meanwhile reported being on a flight that was diverted.
    Other Swedish politicians were also quick to denounce the attacks.
    Swedish man injured in deadly Brussels blasts Swedish man injured in deadly Brussels blasts Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 6:08 PM Rating: 5

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