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Vietnam bashes fatal terror bombings in Belgian capital

Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 11:26 GMT+7

Vietnam has expressed its condemnation of the suicide bombings that killed at least 35 people in the Belgian capital on Tuesday, for which the Islamic State has already claimed responsibility.

Hanoi reacted strongly to the bloody terror attacks, which were carried out at an airport and metro station in Brussels, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Le Hai Binh said Tuesday.

“Vietnam would like to share the pain and loss the Belgian government, people and the victims’ families have to suffer, and believe that those responsible will soon be punished,” the Vietnamese diplomat asserted.

State President Truong Tan Sang has sent a message to extend his condolences to King Philippe of Belgium.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh also expressed their consolation to their Belgian counterparts Charles Michel and Didier Reynders.

Spokesperson Binh confirmed on Tuesday evening that there had been no report of the death of any Vietnamese national during the bombings.

“The Embassy of Vietnam in Belgium has been working around the clock to stay updated, while carrying out preparations to be ready to provide assistance at the request of Vietnamese citizens,” Binh added.

Vietnamese flag carrier Vietnam Airlines announced on the same day that free-of-charge flight changes will be offered to passengers, those who have booked flights between the Southeast Asian country and Europe, and who wish to return or exchange their tickets.

Around 35 people were killed and more than 200 wounded in a series of attacks in Brussels on Tuesday, claimed by the Islamic State group and described as a strike at the very heart of Europe, AFP reported.

At least 14 people were killed in two blasts at Zaventem airport in the city, with the federal prosecutor saying that one was probably caused by a suicide bomber, the French news agency said.

Around 20 more people lost their lives in a third explosion at Maalbeek metro station, which is close to the European Union (EU) headquarters.

“A photograph of three male suspects was taken at Zaventem. Two of them seem to have committed suicide attacks. The third, wearing a light-colored jacket and a hat, is actively being sought,” a Belgian official was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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