UPDATE: Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the terror attacks in Brussels, with the group's statement published by IS-linked Amaq News Agency, according to media in Egypt.

34 in total have been confirmed dead with close to 200 casualties.

NOTE: Those worried about friends or family can use the following tweets for guidance:

At around 8am local time this morning (March 22), two explosions occurred in the departure hall at Brussels' Zaventem Airport, reportedly killing 13 people whilst leaving dozens injured. Authorities now report that more undetonated homemade bombs have been discovered within the terminal, whilst Belgian TV says that one of the blasts in the airport was enacted by a suicide bomber. Three unused suicide belts have also been found by Belgian police.

The Belgian Prosecutor General’s office has now confirmed that at least 13 were killed in the airport.

Shots were heard before the explosions which took place near the American Airlines and Brussels Airline check in desk.

A journalist from the Georgian national TV station was at the airport at the time of the explosions and said that a personal bag was the cause of one of the blasts.

Interfax cites the journalist as saying: "We're being warned that the danger is not over and we should be ready for a new explosion at any time."

Meanwhile, another blast occurred at metro in Brussels at Maalbeek station, claiming the lives of 10 passengers a police source informed rt.com. Passengers are now being evacuated and the Belgian government have raised the terror alert level to 4 across the country - its highest level.

The Zaventem airport has been shut down as well as the city's bus, tram and metro systems. Eurostar have now announced that there will be no trains running to or from Brussels station.

The US Embassy has shot into action, ordering a shelter in place for all of its personnel and US citizens.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has also taken to social media to comment on the attacks, saying he'll chair a meeting of the UK government's emergency committee this morning:

An airport spokesperson for London Gatwick also says security has been ramped up.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia has expressed his condolences, saying: "The fight against this evil implies most active international cooperation."

Though the Belgian prime minister is urging the local population and tourists to stay where they are, public buildings are closing in Brussels with evacuations from museums and the like being held.

There's also worry at the EU Commission building:

Israel has now banned the arrival of all flights from Europe until midnight according to its national airport administration, with 24 flights postponed.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has said he's shocked by the attacks and has ordered a hotline to be opened for Austrian citizens visiting the country.

Security has also been boosted by the Dutch military at its airports and borders, whilst Greece's Aegean Airlines announced all flights to Brussels have been cancelled until further notice, with all morning flights diverted to Dusseldorf, Germany, according to Reuters.

Paris airports have also strengthened their security measures following the terror attacks, reports the French capital's transport office press service.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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