World News

Maelbeek station, scene of Brussels attack, reopens under high security

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Brussels’ Maelbeek metro station, a target in the attacks last month that killed 32 people, reopened on Monday under high security.

Standing guard outside and on the platforms, armed soldiers and security from Brussels’ transport network patrolled the station near European Commission headquarters, where on March 22 a bomb was detonated on a rush-hour train, killing 16 people.

The blast came after suicide bombers had earlier struck Zaventem airport departure lounge in attacks claimed by Islamic State.

Commuters who returned to Maelbeek for the first time since the attacks on Monday morning were visibly moved.

“My heart is beating fast, I’m not feeling okay,” said passenger Hanane Attar, who felt the blast in her office above the station on the day of the attacks. “It’s quite emotional, very emotional.”

Many stopped to read messages such as “All together” and “The greatest of all is love” written on a wall left by victims’ families and survivors, who had visited the station in private.

The attacks in Brussels, home to the European Union and NATO headquarters, came four months after attacks in Paris killed 130 people. Links have been identified between the suspects in the two attacks.

Reporting By Reuters Television in Brussels; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, Larry King