Brussels, March 23 (IANS) Two suicide bombers who carried out the Brussels airport attacks on Tuesday have been identified as brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui, the media reported on Wednesday.
The brothers were Brussels residents with criminal records but have not been linked by local police to terrorism until now, broadcaster RTBF quoted an unnamed source as saying, Xinhua news agency reported.
The attacks on the Belgian capital’s airport and a metro station killed at least 34 people and injured over 200 others.
The two suspects carried explosive devices packed in suitcases on a luggage cart at Zaventem airport, reported Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure.
The newspaper quoted Zaventem’s Mayor Francis Vermeiren who said there were three alleged airport attackers, visible in a photograph of a surveillance camera. They arrived by taxi with suitcases with the ‘bombs’ inside, Efe news agency reported on Wednesday.
According to the same source, they put their suitcases on trolleys and the first two bombs exploded.
The third bomb, according Vermeiren, was placed in a travel bag on top of the trolley, but the alleged terrorist “must have panicked, it did not explode”.
The taxi driver who drove them to the airport recalled that they did not let him help with their luggage, according to the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, which indicates that the original plan of these men was to travel with five suitcases to Zaventem.
The three men had asked for a large car and got angry when he came with a small one, which could not fit five suitcases, according to the taxi driver.
After the attack, the driver remembered the three suspects from the surveillance footage and contacted the police. Later, state police were led to the Schaerbeek district of Brussels where the taxi driver had picked up the three suspects.
The surveillance footage in the airport captured three men, each pushing a luggage cart.