Argentina ups security for Obama after Brussels blasts

An armed German police officer in the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, on March 22, 2016. Likewise, Argentina has said that it will step up security in preparation for US president Barack Obama's visit.
An armed German police officer in the main railway station in Berlin, Germany, on March 22, 2016. Likewise, Argentina has said that it will step up security in preparation for US president Barack Obama's visit.PHOTO: EPA

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Deadly bomb blasts in Brussels prompted Argentina to raise its security alert level on Tuesday (March 22) as it prepared for a visit by US President Barack Obama.

"All the security forces have been put on high alert due to what has just happened in Belgium," said media minister Hernan Lombardi.

He spoke on radio station La Red after a cabinet meeting chaired by President Mauricio Macri.

Obama was due to arrive with First Lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters late Tuesday evening in Buenos Aires.

He was to fly there from Havana, where he is wrapping up a three-day visit to Cuba.

Tuesday's attacks in Brussels killed about 35 people and wounded more than 200 others.

The historic Plaza de Mayo where the Casa Rosada presidential palace stands in Buenos Aires was closed to traffic, and underground train stations in the area were closed.

Obama was scheduled to meet with Macri at the Casa Rosada on Wednesday. He will later lay a wreath at Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral and meet elsewhere with young businesspeople.

He is scheduled to leave Argentina on Thursday night after spending leisure time in the tourist city of Bariloche.