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Three Brussels bombers identified, fourth at large

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Khalid el-Bakraoui, 27 (L) Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, 29 (C) and Najim Laachraoui, 25 (R)

Belgian police have identified three of the bombers who struck an international airport and a subway in Brussels and are looking for the fourth suspect who is still on the run.

Authorities said evidence shows that brothers Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui carried out the bombing attacks at Zaventem International Airport, and Maelbeek metro station. Bomb-making expert Najim Laachraoui has also been identified by police.

A picture released on March 22, 2016 by the Belgian federal police shows a screen grab of the airport CCTV camera showing three suspects of the attacks at Brussels Airport. (AFP photo)

Police have set off a manhunt for the fourth bomber, who is seen wearing a hat and a white jacket on CCTV footage from Zaventem’s departure hall. His explosive-packed suitcase failed to detonate.

The three identified suspects behind Tuesday bombings, which killed at least 31 people and injured nearly 300, were reportedly linked to the Paris attacks last November.

Belgium has declared three days of mourning over the carnage. A minute of silence was also observed for the victims on Wednesday.

The attacks have prompted intensified security measures elsewhere across Europe.

War-like trauma

Belgian officials said at least 25 hospitals in Brussels and neighboring provinces have received nearly 300 people injured in the attacks. Over 60 of them are in critical conditions.

The head of the intensive care unit in a Brussels hospital described the injuries as “limbs torn off, impacts from flying glass and metal shrapnel – either from the bomb or, for example, furniture – head trauma, vascular lesions and fractures.”

“It’s war… It’s the kind of trauma seen in war,” he added.

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