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Belgium on High Alert as Terror Attacks Hit Brussels

Restricted Access to Antwerp Diamond Bourses

Mar 22, 2016 7:53 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Belgium is on high alert following terror attacks that are reported to have killed more than 20 people in Brussels on Tuesday morning.

Two explosions took place at 8 a.m. local time in the departure hall of Brussels Airport and a third blast was reported at a metro station in the capital.

Access to Antwerp's diamond bourses has been restricted and industry events scheduled for Tuesday have been cancelled.

The Belgian government has raised the terror alert level across the country to 4, the highest level, the BBC reported. All flights at Brussels Airport on Tuesday have been cancelled and airport authorities have been asked to avoid the area. Restrictions were eased from 4 p.m.

The internal affairs ministry’s federal crisis center, the Centre de Crise, said all public transportation in Brussels has been shut down and all train and subway stations are being cleared. City residents are asked to stay where they are and avoid making non-essential telephone calls and instead use text messages and social media to communicate.

"I have not heard of any members of the Belgian diamond industry being victims of these attacks and I hope that continues to be the case," commented Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), in a statement March 22

"As with many other diamantaires, I have very many friends in Belgium. Indeed the WFDB's offices are based in Antwerp. On behalf of the WFDB and its members across the world, I send our sincere best wishes to the Belgian public," Blom added.

Ari Epstein, chief executive officer of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, issued condolences to victims and “all those who lost loved ones.”
Tags: Antwerp, Belgium, Rapaport News, security
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