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Witness: Train Station Bomber Shouted 'Allahu Akbar'

| by Lauren Briggs
Brussels Central StationBrussels Central Station

Police evacuated a train station in Brussels, Belgium, June 20 after a suicide bomber reportedly yelled "Allahu Akbar" before blowing himself up, just over a year after the city was rocked by a series of attacks that killed 32 people and injured hundreds.

According to officials, the only person harmed in the night time attack was the suspect, reports NBC News. The alleged attacker's condition remains unclear, and his identity has not been made public.

"Military personnel had to neutralize an individual," the Belgian Crisis Center announced in a tweet, according to NBC. "Situation is under control. Police are on the scene. Follow orders."

In a tweet, Brussels' U.S. Embassy told Americans to "avoid the area."

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Brussels Central Station was evacuated, as was the neighboring tourist attraction, Grand Place, notes The Times of Israel.

Police have not shared many details about the scene, but witnesses reported that the man may have been wearing a belt laced with explosives that he detonated.

"I went down to the mezzanine level, someone was shouting," train station worker Nicolas Van Herrewegen told reporters, according to The Times of Israel. "Then he cried 'Allahu akbar' [God is great' in Arabic] and he blew up a trolley. ... It wasn't exactly a big explosion but the impact was pretty big. People were running away."

Van Herrewegen described the suspect an tan and muscular with short hair, wearing a white shirt with jeans.

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"I saw that he had something on him because I could see wires emerging, so it may have been a suicide vest," he added.

Witness Sandor Moors told CNN that he was waiting on a train platform below when he heard the incident and went upstairs toward the explosion looking for an exit when he heard a security announcement to leave and saw military pass by with "heavy guns."

He said that he saw smoke and a man who had been pierced by three bullets.

"I don't know if he survived," Moors told CNN. "He looked dead."

A senior Belgian counterterrorism official called the explosion a failed bombing attack.

After the threat was neutralized, officials secured the station and sealed off entrances.

"There's a lot of military here, but the situation seems to be contained," said Arash Aazami, who took shelter in a nearby restaurant with a number of others after the attack. "There's no sign of panic."

Sources: CNN, NBC, Times of Israel / Photo Credit: Fabian318/Wikimedia Commons

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