Close shave in Brussels train station

The bag holding a bomb caught fire after the device "partially exploded" at a train station in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday. The suspect, who had dropped the bag, was later shot dead by a soldier on patrol.
The bag holding a bomb caught fire after the device "partially exploded" at a train station in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday. The suspect, who had dropped the bag, was later shot dead by a soldier on patrol.PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS • A Moroccan man tried to set off a nail- packed device at a central Brussels train station, but he was shot dead after the bomb failed to detonate fully, in a narrow escape for passengers.

The suspect, identified by broadcaster VRT as Oussama Zariouh, 36, first attempted to detonate the device in his bag on Tuesday, setting off a "partial explosion" as he ran towards a group of people in the mezzanine level of the station that descends to the tracks.

The bag caught fire, and the suspect dropped it and ran towards the tracks, before the bag exploded "more violently". The Moroccan was shot dead later by a soldier on routine patrol.

Elsewhere in Europe, the authorities were coming down hard on Islamist terror suspects, including an 18-year-old who Dutch prosecutors said yesterday was held for allegedly trying to teach others how to make explosives.

In Spain, a 32-year-old "highly radicalised" Moroccan with a large collection of extreme Islamist material, including a manual for suicide bombers, was arrested on Tuesday in a dawn raid in central Madrid.

WASHINGTON POST, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2017, with the headline 'Close shave in Brussels train station'. Print Edition | Subscribe