Expatica news

Car bomb foundin central Brussels

16 April 2004

BRUSSELS – A booby-trapped vehicle was found Friday parked close to the main Brussels-Midi railway station in the heart of the Belgian capital, Belga news agency reported

Police evacuated the area around the station after the vehicle was found parked with two explosive grenades connected to its petrol tank on the rue de Merode at midday.

The vehicle was safely removed after a two-hour intervention by army bomb disposal experts, the Belgian agency said.

Brussels-Midi is one of the capital’s busiest stations and houses the terminal for Eurostar trains between Belgium and Britain.

There was no immediate official comment as to a possible terrorist link with the booby-trapped vehicle.

In a taped audio message broadcast on Thursday by Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television a voice claiming to be Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden bin offered peace to European countries that refrained from aggression towards Muslims and pulled their troops out of the Muslim world.

US government officials have since said they believed the voice was that of bin Laden.

The European Commission (EC), the executive body of the European Union and which is based in Brussels, joined the governments of Britain, Spain, Germany and France in rejecting the three month “truce” offered in the tape.

EC President Romano Prodi said there was “no possibility for negotiation under terrorist threat”.

Belgium, which opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq has no troops among the occupying coalition forces.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

                                         Subject: Belgian news