This CCTV image from the Brussels Airport surveillance cameras made available by Belgian Police, shows what officials believe may be suspects in the Brussels airport attack on March 22, 2016. Reuters/CCTV/Handout via Reuters

A confirmed 34 people have died after three separate bombs went off at Brussels' Zaventem Airport and Maelbeek metro station in Belgium's capital on Tuesday.

Najim Laachraoui, a 24-year-old from Belgium and suspected Islamic State commander who helped make the bombs used in last year's Paris terror attacks, has emerged as the key suspect in the Brussels bombings.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the fugitive -- one of Europe's most wanted man -- could be the third man captured in CCTV footage whom authorities are hunting for.

Laachraoi reportedly grew up in Schaerbeek, a Brussels neighbourhood that was the subject of raids following the explosions.

Here is a summary of what we know so far. See below for full accounts of the events:

  • At approximately 8am local time, two explosions went off at the Zavantem Airport, killing 11 and injuring 92
  • An hour later, explosions at the Maelbeek station killed 20 and injured 130. The metro station is close to the European Union headquarters
  • As of Weds 12.30pm AEDT, the confirmed death toll rose to 34 people
  • Belgian police have released images of three suspects behind the airport attacks - two suicide bombers who died during the blasts, and one man who is still on the run
  • Authorities are searching for the third suspect, with raids at the suburb of Schaebeek in Brussels leading police to uncover an ISIS flag, a nail bomb and chemicals. Local media reports special forces were directed to Schaebeek after being tipped off by a taxi driver who claims he had picked up the terrorists and dropped them off at the airport
  • An IS-related news agency has confirmed Islamic State fighters targeted an "airport and a central metro station" on Tuesday
  • Belgian Prime Minister: "What we feared has happened". Meanwhile, interior minister Jan Jambo said while they were expecting an extremist act, the scale of the Belgium attacks were not anticipated. The country has declared three days of national mourning
  • World leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, French President Francois Hollande, US President Barack Obama and the Pope have condemened the attacks. Belgian Muslim leaders have also added their voices to the chorus of condemnation, and expressed solidarity with citizens of Belgium.
  • No Australians are reported to have been wounded or killed by the twin terror attacks. If you are concerned about friends and family in Belgium, call DFAT on 1300 555 135

Map locating the explosions that tore through Brussels airport and a blast that struck Maelbeek metro station in Belgium on Tuesday. Reuters

Brussels Terror Attacks

At approximately 8am on Tuesday (local time), two blasts shook the Zaventem airport’s departure hall, with reports saying the explosions went off near the American Airlines and Brussels Airlines check-in counters. This prompted crowds to flee into the streets and the airport to go on lockdown.

Soon after, the country was put on high alert to level four.

One of the explosions is also believed to have occurred near a Starbucks at the airport, with the coffee giant later releasing a statement saying one employee had been injured, and that all other Starbucks stores in Brussels will remain closed until further notice.

Reuters reported witness accounts that shots were fired and shouts in Arabic were made before the blasts. Belgian’s RTBF later added that a Kalashnikov rifle was found at Zaventem airport.

An hour later, social media lit up with accounts of an attack at the Maelbeek metro station and pictures started emerging of people having to evacuate from a train. This prompted the city’s metro system to go on lockdown.

The Maelbeek station is a mere half a kilometre from the European Union Commission Headquarters. NATO is also headquartered in Brussels.


Three men have been captured on CCTV wheeling their baggage trolleys through the airport, with two of the unidentified men suspected of carrying out the suicide attacks. It is believed the two men were wearing black gloves on their left hands to conceal the detonation devices.

According to Belgian authorities, the third man, who was captured "wearing a light-coloured jacket and a hat," is now being sought.

A man, who police have issued a wanted notice on suspicion of involvement in the Brussels airport attack, is shown in this image taken from surveillance footage released by Belgian police. Reuters/Belgian Federal Police

A third unexploded suicide vest or bomb, allegedly carried by the third suspect, was found and detonated in a controlled manner by authorities at Brussels airport.

Manhunt underway; raids at Schaebeek after taxi driver tip-off

Local media are reporting that authorities are continuing their search in Schaebeek after being tipped off by a taxi driver who claims he had driven the terrorists to the airport without knowing of their plans.

This account was partly confirmed by mayor Francis Vermeiren, who had said the suicide bombers had come "in a taxi with their suitcases, their bombs were in their bags".

“They put their suitcases on trolleys, the first two bombs exploded. The third also put his on a trolley but he must have panicked, it didn’t explode,” he said.

There are also reports that two people have been arrested in the Schaebeek raids, although this information cannot be verified at this stage.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon told CNN that it was too “dangerous” to give more information about any ongoing raids for fear that it may compromise operations.

“It’s very dangerous to give details from the investigation because what we don’t want is to alert, maybe, terrorists that are still active in this country,” he said.

ISIS claims responsibility

Meanwhile, Islamic State-related 'news agency', Amaq, has announced that IS fighters had targeted an airport and a central metro station on Tuesday, carrying out "a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices".

"Islamic State fighters opened fire inside Zaventem Airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station," the site, which includes reports of IS activities and attacks, said.

While the terrorist organisation did not specify a reason behind the attacks, the report added that Belgium was "a country participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State".

Tuesday's attacks comes after 2015 Paris Terror Attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam was captured in Belgium on Friday.

The sole surviving member of the ISIS death squad that killed 130 in the Paris attacks, Abdeslam had revealed to investigators that “he was ready to restart something in Brussels”.

According to Brussel’s deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, Didier Reynders, Abdeslam’s confession reflected a very real threat because so many weapons and a new terror network were found in the city.

Reynders also claimed that the amount of people thought to be directly or indirectly involved in the November 13 attacks keep growing, both in France and Belgium. At least 30 people have been identified so far, but Reynders is positive that there are others.

“In addition to the assailants who died on the night of the attacks, 18 people who are suspected of assisting the attackers are detained in six countries, and at least two others are still at large,” Reynders had said.

However, it cannot be verified at this stage whether there are any connections between the Brussels bombings and the Paris attacks.