Key denounces Brussels attacks

  • 23/03/2016
There's been an outpouring of grief and sympathy following the attacks (Reuters)
There's been an outpouring of grief and sympathy following the attacks (Reuters)

Prime Minister John Key has joined a chorus of international condemnation of the deadly attacks in Brussels overnight, saying it is a stark reminder of why the international community must stand together in the global fight against terrorism.

While the situation in the Belgian capital is still unfolding, at least 34 have died 230 have been injured in three explosions at Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek Metro Station.

There have been raids on a number of properties in Belgium in response.

There are 72 New Zealanders known to be in Belgium, but Mr Key says there could be more because many don't register on SafeTravel.

So far none have been reported injured or killed.

Because these sorts of terror attacks are very difficult to stop in a practical sense, Mr Key said it highlights just how important the work of New Zealand's intelligence agencies is, as well as the need to co-ordinate with other countries and share information.

"We really have to stop these acts before they're actually carried out," he told reporters.

"No innocent person should have to worry about such violence when going about their daily lives, and New Zealand stands with Belgium in the fight against terrorism.

"We utterly condemn these appalling acts which have killed and wounded so many."

He told More FM he is receiving updates every few hours, and told those in the area to be "extremely vigilant" and to leave the area if they can do so safely.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is advising against all tourist and non-essential travel to Belgium because of a high risk to security.

The Green Party has also expressed sympathy for those affected by the attacks, which Islamic State has claimed responsibility for.

"Like others all around the world we are deeply shocked by the violence that has struck Brussels overnight and the loss of innocent lives," foreign affairs spokesperson Kennedy Graham said.

"We hope for peace to be restored to Brussels soon. Our hope also is that the world takes inspiration from the acts of love and togetherness that have been demonstrated already by communities in Belgium."

They're among the latest messages of sorrow, denunciation and empathy expressed by other world leaders including US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Newshub. / NZN