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The U.N. human rights chief on Tuesday called a suicide bombing outside the Prophet Mohammad’s Mosque in the Saudi city of Medina an attack on Islam itself and many Muslims expressed shock that their second-holiest site had been targeted.

Three apparently coordinated suicide attacks on Monday targeted Medina, the U.S. consulate in Jeddah and the largely Shi’ite Muslim city of Qatif on Monday. At least four security officers were killed.

No group has claimed responsibility but Islamic State has carried out similar bombings in the U.S.-allied kingdom in the past year, targeting Shi’ites and Saudi security forces.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and a member of the Jordanian royal family, delivered his remarks via a spokesman in Geneva.

“This is one of the holiest sites in Islam, and for such an attack to take place there, during Ramadan, can be considered a direct attack on Muslims all across the world,” he said, referring to the Islamic holy month.

“It is an attack on the religion itself.”

Militant attacks on Medina are unprecedented. The city is home to the second-holiest site in Islam, a mosque built by the Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, which also houses his tomb.

Attacks on Mecca, the most sacred place in Islam, have also been extremely rare. The Al Saud ruling family considers itself the protectors of both sites. Islamic State says the Saudi rulers are apostates and has declared its intention to topple them.

Saudis were rattled by the rare, high-profile attack.

“I apologize to everyone if I don’t congratulate you this Eid,” Khaled bin Saleh al-Shathri, a Saudi businessman, wrote on Twitter.

“I am shocked by the deaths of five of my brothers and the wounding of four others as they guarded the holiest places.”

Iran also condemned the attacks.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and anti-terror tsar, Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, sought on Tuesday to reassure Saudis of the country’s security.

“The security of the homeland is good, it is at its highest levels and thanks be to God it gets stronger every day,” the state news agency SPA quoted him as saying during a visit to some of the wounded in the Jeddah attack.

Prince Mohammed has been credited for successfully ending a bombing campaign by al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia between 2003-2006.

Monday’s bombings came days before the end of the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn until dusk.

Saudi security officials say the Islamic State’s supporters inside the kingdom mainly act independently from the group in Iraq and Syria.

Salah al-Budair, the imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, warned young people about being lured by the “malignant” ideology of Islamic State.

“(The bomber) is an infidel who has sold himself to the enemies of his religion and his country.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Sami Aboudi and Tom Finn; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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Three suicide attacks in 24 hours — that’s how Saudis will remember the end of Ramadan, a month that has seen the wider region plunged into a wave of terror-related violence.

The attacks — including one in Medina, one of the holiest sites in Islam — follow massive jihadi assaults from Turkey to Iraq that have been been tied to ISIS. Analysts believe events in Saudi Arabia could also be the work of the terror group.

There has been no claim of responsibility so far.

Two of the attacks failed but four people were killed in the third, all of which appear to be coordinated — targeting both Saudi security forces and Western interests.

The first occurred before dawn near the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah. The attacker killed only himself after detonating an explosive according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Policemen were injured in the attack.

The Saudi Interior Ministry identified the Jeddah bomber as Pakistani national Abdullah Qlazar Khan.

The ministry said the 34-year-old man blew himself up with an explosives belt. He lived in Jeddah with his wife and one of her parents. He came to Saudi Arabia 12 years ago to work as a driver, Saudi officials said.

In Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, a suicide bomber attempted to launch an attack at a Shiite mosque but failed, killing himself in the process, according to an official with knowledge of the event. There were no injuries.

The deadliest occurred in Medina, where four people were killed and another person was wounded, according to an official with knowledge of the event. The city is a major spot in Islam because that’s where the Prophet Mohammed is buried.

The bomber, who died in the explosion, targeted security officers, but it is unknown precisely who was killed, the source said.

Suspicions point to ISIS

The strikes come as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends and Americans celebrate the Fourth of July, the U.S. independence day.

They follow dramatic attacks last week in Turkey, Bangladesh, Yemen and Iraq, that killed scores of people. They are claimed or thought to be carried out by ISIS.

Tim Lister, a CNN expert on Middle East affairs, said the Saudi attacks fit the “modus operandi” of ISIS and the kingdom represents “a real target to show” ISIS “can punch above its weight.”

“Saudi Arabia is a big target for them. They have a lot of Saudi fighters in their ranks. They regard the Saudi monarchy as having betrayed Islam.”

The group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing last August that ripped through a mosque belonging to a special emergency force in the southwestern part of the country, killing at least 13 people and leaving nine others wounded.

The kingdom’s special emergency force, answering to the Interior Ministry, comprises quick-response security officers used for a variety of situations, including rescues, riot control and other police actions. ISIS’ statement claims the emergency force played a significant role in torturing ISIS supporters.

Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, said ISIS called for attacks during Ramadan and “now we have them.”

Attacking a Shiite mosque, a U.S. entity and the holy city of Medina are meant to embarrass the Saudis. The attack on Medina specifically undercuts the royal Saudi family’s claim to be the “protectors of the two holy places,” Bergen said, a reference to the holy sites of Mecca and Medina.

But, Bergen said, a suicide attack in Medina couldn’t be more counterproductive because the attack took place at a revered Muslim location during Ramadan. It would seem senseless to undertake that kind of action, he said, and he expects it would be greeted with “strong condemnation and puzzlement” by the Muslim faithful.

Around the world, the hashtag #PrayForMedina has been retweeted thousands of times, as Muslims responded with outrage and horror to the attack near Islam’s second most holy site.

Jeddah blast occurs near consulate wall

Early Monday, the Saudi police became suspicious of a man who appeared to be roaming around a parking lot of a major hospital, the news agency reported. When officers approached him, the man detonated what appeared to be an explosive belt.

The explosion happened roughly 33 feet (10 meters) from the consulate’s wall.

Witnesses told CNN the blast occurred about 3 a.m. local time and that it appeared that at least two police officers were slightly injured in the attack.

The Saudi news agency reported that the policemen were slightly injured and that they were taken to the hospital. The report did not specify how many were hurt.

None of the bystanders in the parking lot were injured in the attack, according to SPA.

Police found three devices inside the bomber’s car. A bomb disposal unit used a robot to detonate them, said a journalist who was on the scene.

The Interior Ministry is investigating the case, according to the SPA.

A U.S. State Department official told CNN that all chief of mission personnel were accounted for. The bombing came after a week of attacks in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq, which have left many on edge.

In 2004, the U.S. consulate in Jeddah was attacked by gunmen linked to al Qaeda, who killed five employees.

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ISTANBUL — Suicide attackers killed dozens and wounded more than 140 at Istanbul’s busy Ataturk Airport, andTurkish officials blamed Tuesday’s massacre at the international terminal on three militants with suspected ties to ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said 36 were dead as well as the three suicide bombers. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said 147 were wounded.

Another senior government official told The Associated Press the death toll could climb much higher. The senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol, at first said close to 50 people had already died, but later said that the figure was expected to rise to close to 50.

20 Photos

Deadly terror blasts at Istanbul airport

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up rocking the country’s largest airport in Istanbul on June 28, 2016, leaving multiple people injured, and s…

Hundreds of frightened passengers streamed out of the airport, fleeing the latest of several bombings to strike Turkey in recent months. The attacks on a key partner in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS and a NATO member have increased in scale and frequency. They have scared off tourists and hurt the Turkish economy, which relies heavily on tourism.

Officials began assessing the damage Wednesday morning. Workers were brought in to remove debris left by the blast, while in the daylight the damage to the terminal became clearer — even ceiling panels had been hit.

Yildirim, speaking to reporters at the airport, said all initial indications suggested ISIS was behind the attack.

“The findings of our security forces point at the Daesh organization as the perpetrators of this terror attack,” Yildirim said, using the Arabic name for ISIS. “Even though the indications suggest Daesh, our investigations are continuing.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the fact that ISIS could be the culprit in another airport attack is a sign of weakness.

Speaking Tuesday evening at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, Kerry said, “It has been more than one year since Daesh has actually launched a full scale military offensive, and that’s because our coalition is moving relentlessly on every front. … Now, yes, you can bomb an airport, you can blow yourself up. That’s the tragedy. … And if you’re desperate and if you know you are losing, and you know you want to give up your life, then obviously you can do some harm. … We are still collecting information and trying to ascertain what happened and who did it.”

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John Kerry: We have to get it right

John Kerry responded Tuesday night to the attack at the airport in Istanbul. The secretary of state said that the attack appears to be the work o…

Passengers described scenes of carnage.

South African Judy Favish, who spent two days in Istanbul as a layover on her way home from Dublin, had just checked in when she heard an explosion followed by gunfire.

Favish told CBSN passengers were ushered to a cafeteria on the basement level and kept there for more than an hour before being allowed outside.

“Coming out … there was blood everywhere,” she said. “One of the little rooms had been shattered. It was horrible. It was just horrible — chaos and blood and people running around and anxious worried, and it was just horrible.”

Turkey shares long, porous borders with Syria and Iraq, war-torn countries where ISIS controls large pockets of territory. Authorities have blamed ISIS for several major bombings over the past year, including on the capital Ankara, as well as attacks on tourists in Istanbul.

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Who could be behind Istanbul attack?

CBS News’ senior national security analyst Juan Zarate weighs in on the possible motive and origin of the attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

In the wake of the Istanbul assault, additional security was being rolled out in numerous U.S. airports, among them those in the New York and Miami metropolitan areas.

Turkey has stepped up controls at airports and land borders and deported thousands of foreign fighters, but has struggled to tackle the threat of ISIS militants while also conducting vast security operations against Kurdish rebels, who have also been blamed for recent deadly attacks.

The devastation at Istanbul’s airport follows the March attack on Brussels Airport, where two suicide bombings ripped through check-in counters, killing 16 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack, as well as a subsequent explosion at a Brussels subway station that killed 16 more people.

Yildirim said air traffic at Ataturk Airport, which was suspended after the attack, had resumed and was back to normal early Wednesday, though the information board inside the airport showed that about a third of scheduled flights have been canceled and a host of others delayed.

A stoppage of flights to and from the United States and Istanbul lasted several hours but was later lifted, said a U.S. official who spoke on background in order to discuss sensitive security issues.

Yildirim said the attackers arrived at the airport in a taxi and blew themselves up after opening fire. Asked whether a fourth attacker might have escaped, he said authorities have no such assessment but are considering every possibility.

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After Istanbul attack, how safe are U.S. airports?

Major airports in Brussels and now Istanbul have suffered terror attacks just months apart. Kris Van Cleave reports on the safety protocols at U….

Another Turkish official said two of the attackers detonated explosives at the entrance of the international arrivals terminal after police fired at them, while the third blew himself up in the parking lot.

The official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, cited interior ministry information and said that none of the attackers managed to get past security checks at the terminal’s entrance.

Turkish airports have security checks at both the entrance of terminal buildings and then later before entry to departure gates.

Roads around the airport were sealed off for regular traffic after the attack and several ambulances could be seen driving back and forth. Passengers were left sitting on the grass outside the airport.

Two South African tourists, Paul and Susie Roos from Cape Town, were at the airport and due to fly home at the time of the explosions.

“We came up from the arrivals to the departures, up the escalator when we heard these shots going off,” Paul Roos said. “There was this guy going roaming around, he was dressed in black and he had a hand gun.”

The prime minister called for national unity and “global cooperation” in combatting terrorism.

“This (attack) has shown once again that terrorism is a global threat,” Yildirim said. “This is a heinous planned attack that targeted innocent people.”

He suggested that the attack was linked to what he said was Turkey’s success against Kurdish rebels, as well as steps Ankara took Monday toward mending strained ties with Israel and Russia.

“It is meaningful that this heinous attack came at a time when we have become successful in the fight against separatist terrorism … and at a time when we started a process of normalizing ties with our neighbors,” Yildirim said.

Yildirim said there was no security lapse at the airport, but added the fact the attackers were carrying weapons “increased the severity” of the attack.

The victims included some foreigners, he said, adding that many of the wounded have minor injuries but others were more badly hurt.

The independent DHA news agency said the wounded, among them police officers, were transferred to Bakirkoy State Hospital.

Turkey is beset by a wide array of security threats, including from ultra-left radicals, Kurdish rebels demanding greater autonomy in the restive southeast, and ISIS militants.

On Jan. 12, an attack that Turkish authorities blamed on ISIS claimed the lives of a dozen German tourists visiting Istanbul’s historic sites. On March 19, a suicide bombing rocked Istanbul’s main pedestrian street, killing five people, including the bomber, whom the authorities identified as a Turkish national linked to ISIS.

Last October, twin suicide bombings hit a peace rally outside Ankara’s train station, killing 102 people. There was no claim of responsibility but Turkish authorities blamed the attack on a local ISIS cell.

Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport was the 11th busiest airport in the world last year, with 61.8 million passengers, according to Airports Council International. It is also one of the fastest-growing airports in the world, seeing 9.2 percent more passengers last year than in 2014.

The largest carrier at the airport is Turkish Airlines, which operates a major hub there. Low-cost Turkish carrier Onur Air is the second-largest airline there.

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Three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Istanbul’s main international airport on Tuesday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey’s prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.

One attacker opened fire in the departures hall with an automatic rifle, sending passengers diving for cover and trying to flee, before all three blew themselves up in or around the arrivals hall a floor below, witnesses and officials said.

The attack on Europe’s third-busiest airport was one of the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey, which is part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State and is struggling to contain the spillover from neighboring Syria’s civil war. It is also battling an insurgency by Kurdish militants in its largely Kurdish southeast.

Police fired shots to try to stop two of the attackers just before they reached a security checkpoint at the arrivals hall, but they detonated their explosives, a Turkish official said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said: “This attack, targeting innocent people is a vile, planned terrorist act.”

“There is initial evidence that each of the three suicide bombers blew themselves up after opening fire,” he told reporters at the airport. Yildirim said the attackers had come to the airport by taxi and that preliminary findings pointed to Islamic State responsibility.

Two U.S. counterterrorism officials familiar with the early stages of investigations said Islamic State was at the top of the list of suspects even though there was no evidence yet.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the use of suicide bombers against “soft” targets was more typical of Islamic State than the other obvious suspect, Kurdish PKK militants, who generally attack official government targets.

One of the officials also said that, while Islamic State had recently stepped up attacks in Turkey, the group rarely claims responsibility because Turkey remains one of the main corridors for its fighters traveling from Europe to Syria and Iraq.

No group had claimed responsibility more than nine hours after the attack, which started around 9:50 p.m. local time (1850 GMT).

The attack bore similarities to a suicide bombing by Islamic State militants at Brussels airport in March that killed 16 people. A coordinated attack also targeted a rush-hour metro train, killing a further 16 people in the Belgian capital.

“THE ROOF CAME DOWN”

Most those killed were Turkish nationals but foreigners were also among the dead, a Turkish official said.

Ali Tekin, who was at the arrivals hall waiting for a guest, said the roof came down after an “extremely loud” explosion. “Inside the airport it is terrible, you can’t recognize it, the damage is big,” Tekin said.

A woman named Duygu, who was at passport control after arriving from Germany, said she threw herself to the floor after the explosion. “Everyone started running away. Everywhere was covered with blood and body parts. I saw bullet holes on the doors,” she said.

Paul Roos, 77, said he saw one of the attackers “randomly shooting” in the departures hall from about 50 meters (55 yards) away. “He was wearing all black. His face was not masked,” said Roos, a South African on his way home after a holiday in southern Turkey.

“We ducked behind a counter but I stood up and watched him. Two explosions went off shortly after one another. By that time he had stopped shooting,” Roos told Reuters.

“He turned around and started coming towards us. He was holding his gun inside his jacket. He looked around anxiously to see if anyone was going to stop him and then went down the escalator … We heard some more gunfire and then another explosion, and then it was over.”

President Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

“The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values,” he said in a statement.

The United States said it stood in solidarity with Turkey, its NATO ally, and that such attacks would only reinforce their joint determination. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to intensify global efforts to combat extremism.

FLIGHTS RESUME

Ataturk is Turkey’s largest airport and a major transport hub for travelers from around the world. Pictures posted on social media from the site showed wounded people lying on the ground inside and outside the international terminal.

A helicopter buzzed overhead as police evacuated the building. Dozens of passengers walked back down access roads with their luggage, trying to hail cabs. The U.S. embassy urged U.S citizens to avoid the area.

Authorities halted the takeoff of scheduled flights from the airport and passengers were transferred to hotels. Some flights to the airport were diverted, an official said, although Yildirim said later air traffic had resumed.

In the United States, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reacted to the explosions by putting armed, high-visibility patrols at the three main airports in the New York metropolitan region. The U.S. Federal Aviation authority also lifted an earlier order grounding U.S. flights to Ataturk.

Turkey has suffered a spate of bombings this year, including two suicide attacks in tourist areas of Istanbul blamed on Islamic State, and two car bombings in the capital, Ankara, which were claimed by a Kurdish militant group.

In the most recent attack, a car bomb ripped through a police bus in central Istanbul during the morning rush hour, killing 11 people and wounding 36 near the main tourist district, a major university and the mayor’s office.

One person was killed on Dec. 23, 2015, when an explosion hit Istanbul’s second airport, Sabiha Gokcen, located on the Asian side of the city. That attack was claimed by a Kurdish militant group.

(Additional reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley, Asli Kandemir, Istanbul bureau and John Walcott in Wshington; Writing by Nick Tattesall and David Dolan; Editing by Gareth Jones, Bill Rigby and Paul Tait)

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ISTANBUL — Suicide attackers armed with bombs and guns struck Turkey’s largest airport Tuesday night, blowing themselves up in a confrontation with the police. Officials said that at least 28 people were killed in the attack, and one official who spoke to The Associated Press put the toll at nearly 50. Scores more were reported to have been injured.

The governor of Istanbul, Vasip Sahin, told Turkish news outlets that three suicide bombers took part in the attack. The official cited by The A.P. said there may have been four attackers.

Another Turkish government official said that the police fired shots at two suspected attackers at the entryway to the airport’s international terminal, in an effort to stop them before they reached the building’s security checkpoint. The two suspects then detonated their bombs, the official said.

CNN Turk reported that one suicide bomber set off his explosives inside the terminal building and another outside in a parking lot.

There appeared to be no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

“I hope the attack at the Ataturk airport will be a turning point in the world, and primarily for the Western states, for a joint struggle against terror organizations,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement, adding that the attack “revealed the dark face of terror organizations targeting innocent civilians.”

A Turkish Twitter user posted a video of what appeared to be footage of the bombing. A sharp flash of light is seen piercing the outside area in front of the airport entrance.

The Turkish broadcaster NTV showed video of airport employees streaming out of the area of the bombing and crowds of travelers walking away, some carrying luggage and some using their cellphones.

Flights to and from Ataturk airport were suspended at least through 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, the Dogan news agency reported. The Federal Aviation Administration said it had halted all flights between Istanbul and the United States.

T24, an internet news site, showed photographs of people bending to help two victims who were lying on the pavement just outside the airport. Birgun, a Turkish newspaper, posted photographs of fallen tiles and shattered pieces of concrete near a line of cabs outside the airport.

Timeline | Recent Terrorist Attacks in Turkey

A witness told CNN Turk that injured people were being taken away in taxis, Reuters reported.

People across Istanbul expressed shock and frustration at the attack. Ahmet Samanci, 27, a graduate student waiting for a ferry on the Asian side of the city, said he had been at the airport at 5 a.m. to pick up his uncle. “How can people come to Turkey, and for what, if there is no security?” he said, looking out at the water.

Mr. Samanci said that he told his sister, a student at the University of Buffalo in New York, to “just stay there.”

He added: “Generally, there’s very negative energy in the world right now. It is the worst in Turkey.”

Almost immediately, there was speculation that the attack was politically motivated, and may have been a response to the recent reconciliation between Turkey and Israel, which announced a wide-ranging deal this week to restore diplomatic relations. The countries had been estranged for six years, after the 2010 episode in which Israeli commandos stormed a ship in a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade; 10 Turkish activists were killed in the episode.

Mustafa Akyol, a prominent Turkish columnist, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening, “The fact that the attack came right after the Turkish-Israeli deal might be not an accident.”

Other analysts, though, noted that terrorist attacks involving multiple suicide bombers take time to prepare and are not typically attempted on very short notice.

Some observers sought to link the attack to Turkey’s role in the conflict in neighboring Syria. “Unfortunately, we see the side effects of a disastrous Syria policy that has brought terrorism into the heart of Istanbul and Ankara,” said Suat Kiniklioglu, a former lawmaker in Istanbul. “This is obviously intended to create an atmosphere of chaos and hit the economy and tourism.”

Turkey has been rocked by a series of bombings since 2014, and they have been increasing in frequency. Officials have variously blamed Kurdish separatists or Islamic State militants for the attacks. On June 7, a police van was blown up by Kurdish separatists, killing 11 people, five of them civilians.

Officials have blamed the Islamic State for several recent bombings in Turkey, including in areas of Istanbul that are popular with Western tourists. The Islamic State has generally not claimed responsibility for these attacks, though it is quick to lay claim to attacks elsewhere. Analysts believe that this reflects the group’s dependence on Turkey, the main route for foreign recruits to reach its territory in Syria.

“The Islamic State has never claimed credit for any attacks on civilians in Turkey, as it is an advantage to the group not to,” said Veryan Khan, director of the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium. She noted, though, that the group did claim responsibility for assassinations of opponents in southern Turkey.

Interactive Feature | Map of Istanbul Airport

Ataturk airport has expanded in recent years and is now the third busiest in Europe, after Heathrow in London and Charles de Gaulle in Paris, when ranked by the annual number of passengers.

On Monday, the State Department renewed a warning it issued three months ago advising American citizens about the danger of travel to Turkey because of terrorist threats.

“Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations,” the department said in the warning, which was posted on the State Department’s website.

In New York, security was stepped up at three major metropolitan airports after the news of the attack. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it had “added high-visibility patrols equipped with tactical weapons and equipment” at John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports.

People shared images and videos from Ataturk airport online, some of which were graphic in nature.

Correction: June 28, 2016

A previous version of this article included a death toll number attributed to The Associated Press that was incorrect. At least 28 people have been killed in the attack, not 50.

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April 30, 2016: People gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack in a southeastern suburb of Baghdad, Iraq. (REUTERS)

April 30, 2016: People gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack in a southeastern suburb of Baghdad, Iraq. (REUTERS)

Two car bombs in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah on Sunday killed 31 people and wounded dozens, the latest in a series of large attacks claimed by the Islamic State group as the country grapples with a worsening political crisis.

The attacks came the day after thousands of anti-government protesters poured into Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone and stormed parliament, the culmination of months of protests by followers of an influential Shiite cleric demanding wide-ranging political reforms.

A police officer said two parked cars filled with explosives were detonated within minutes of each other around midday in Samawah, the first near government offices and the second at an open-air bus station less than a mile away.

At least 52 people were wounded in both explosions, and the police official said the death toll was expected to rise. A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

IS claimed the bombings in an online statement, saying they were carried out by suicide attackers targeting police. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the competing claims.

The Shiite-dominated city is located some 230 miles south of the capital, Baghdad. The extremists have repeatedly targeted Iraq’s Shiite majority — which they view as apostates — as well as the Shiite-dominated security forces.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered authorities to arrest and prosecute protesters who attacked security forces, lawmakers and damaged state property after breaking into the Green Zone.

Followers of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tore down blast walls and poured into the Green Zone and parliament building on Saturday.

Videos on social media showed a group of young men surrounding and slapping two Iraqi lawmakers as they attempted to flee the crowd, while other protesters mobbed lawmakers’ motorcades. Jubilant protesters were also seen jumping and dancing on the parliament’s meeting hall tables and chairs and waving Iraqi flags. No one was seriously wounded. The protesters eventually left the parliament Saturday night and rallied at a nearby square.

Al-Sadr and his supporters want to reform the political system put in place following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, in which entrenched political blocs representing the country’s Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds rely on patronage, resulting in widespread corruption and poor public services. The major blocs have until now stymied al-Abadi’s reform efforts.

On Sunday, protesters vowed to continue their sit-in inside the Green Zone until their demands are met.

“We are fed up, we are living a humiliated life,” Rasool Hassan, a 37-year old father of three told The Associated Press from inside the Green Zone. “We’ll leave here only when the corrupt government is replaced with another of independent technocrats that serves the people not the political parties,” Hassan added.

“We need new faces, not the old ones,” said Shatha Jumaa, a 58-year old surgeon. Jumaa, who identified herself as a secularist, said she wanted the current government dissolved and replaced by a small interim administration whose job would be to amend the constitution and to prepare for an early national election.

Also on Sunday, the United Nations said at least 741 Iraqis were killed in April due to ongoing violence, a sharp decline from the previous month. In its monthly report, the U.N. mission to Iraq put the number of civilians killed at 410, while the rest were members of the security forces. A total of 1,374 Iraqis were wounded that month, it added.

In March, at least 1,119 people were killed and 1,561 wounded.

The capital, Baghdad, remains the worst-hit area, with 232 civilians killed and 642 wounded in April, followed by the northern province of Ninevah, which is almost entirely controlled by the Islamic State group, with 72 killed and 30 wounded.

“It pains us to see the continuing bloodletting and loss of life, particularly among civilians who are paying a high price as a result of bombings and the armed clashes,” U.N. envoy Jan Kubis said.

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April 30, 2016: People gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack in a southeastern suburb of Baghdad, Iraq. (REUTERS)

April 30, 2016: People gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack in a southeastern suburb of Baghdad, Iraq. (REUTERS)

Militants on Sunday unleashed dual car bomb attacks in southern Iraq, killing at least 23 people and wounding dozens, officials said, at a time when the country’s government is struggling with mounting public unrest in the capital over delays in promised reform plans.

A police officer said two parked explosives-laden cars were detonated within minutes of each other around midday in the city of Samawah. The first one near government offices, while the second exploded minutes later at an open-air bus station. At least 42 other people were wounded in both explosions and the police official said the death toll was expected to rise.

A medical official confirmed the causality figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
The Shiite-dominated city is located some 230 miles south of the capital, Baghdad.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group. Commercial areas and public spaces in majority-Shiite towns and neighborhoods are among the most frequent targets for the militants, who view Shiite Muslims as apostates and seek to undermine government efforts to maintain security inside the capital.

The attacks came hours after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered authorities to arrest and prosecute protesters who attacked security forces, lawmakers and damaged state property after breaking into Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone to protest delays in reform plans.

Al-Abadi’s statement came a day after hundreds of angry anti-government followers of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tore down blast walls and poured into the parliament building, exacerbating a long-simmering political crisis. Late Saturday, al-Abadi toured inside the parliament building, walking past damaged furniture.

Videos on social media showed a group of young men surrounding and slapping two Iraqi lawmakers as they attempted to flee the crowd, while other protesters mobbed lawmakers’ motorcades. Jubilant protesters were also seen jumping and dancing on the parliament’s meeting hall tables and chairs and waving Iraqi flags.

The protesters eventually left the parliament Saturday night and rallied at a nearby square.

Al-Sadr and his supporters want to reform the political system put in place following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, in which entrenched political blocs representing the country’s Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds rely on patronage, resulting in widespread corruption and poor public services. The major blocs have until now stymied al-Abadi’s reform efforts.

On Sunday, protesters vowed to continue their sit-in inside the Green Zone until their demands are met.
“We are fed up, we are living a humiliated life,” Rasool Hassan, a 37-year old father of three told The Associated Press from inside the Green Zone where thousands gathered in Saddam-era Grand Celebration Square.

“We’ll leave here only when the corrupt government is replaced with another of independent technocrats that serves the people not the political parties,” Hassan added.

“We need new faces not the old ones,” said female protester Shatha Jumaa, a 58-year old surgeon. Jumaa, who identified herself as a secularist, said she wanted the current government dissolved and replaced by a small interim administration whose job would be to amend the constitution and to prepare for an early national election.

Iraq has been mired in a political crisis for months, hindering the government’s ability to combat the Islamic State group — which still controls large areas of the country’s north and west — or address a financial crisis largely prompted by the plunge in global oil prices.

Iraqi security forces initially responded by tightening security across the capital, sealing off checkpoints leading to the Green

Zone and halting traffic on main roads heading into the city, according to the Baghdad Operations Command.

Alarmed by the latest development, the U.N. mission to Iraq said it was “gravely concerned.” It issued a statement condemning violence against elected officials and urging “calm, restraint and respect for Iraq’s constitutional institutions at this crucial juncture.”

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BRUSSELS — The Latest on the suicide bombings this week in Brussels (all times local):

8:55 p.m.

Germany’s top security official has confirmed that a German woman was killed in the Brussels attacks and vows that his country “will not rest until the murderers and those who aided them are held responsible.”

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere says Friday that “my thoughts are with the young woman’s relatives, as well as the relatives of the many who were injured or killed on March 22.” He added that “Belgian authorities can be sure of our support.”

The woman was identified as Jennifer Scintu Waetzmann, a coach for an Aachen youth handball club.

The German paper Bild quotes the woman’s uncle, Claudio Scinto, saying she and her husband were at the Brussels Airport American Airlines check-in counter en route to New York for a belated honeymoon when a bomb exploded.

Her husband, Lars Waetzmann, has been reported among the 270 wounded in Brussels.

___

8 p.m.

One victim of the Brussels bombings was on her way to Rhode Island for her stepfather’s funeral when she was killed.

Elita Borbor Weah texted family members a photo of herself at the Brussels airport shortly before bombs went off at the terminal Tuesday. Her brother Oscar Weah, of Providence, confirmed her death.

Her extended family from Zwedru, Liberia, had dispersed across Europe and the United States following Liberia’s civil wars.

The 40-year-old Elita had settled in the Netherlands, where she was living with her 13-year-old daughter. Oscar Weah was in tears Friday as he described how his older sister had helped to care for him over the years.

Family members were gathering in Providence to mourn stepfather James Wah, 87, whose funeral is Saturday.

___

7:50 p.m.

The Italian foreign ministry says an Italian woman who has been missing in Brussels since the attacks this week has been confirmed among the dead from the subway bomb blast.

The ministry said Friday evening that Belgium authorities had confirmed that Patricia Rizzo’s body has been identified and that she died in the city’s metro station attack.

Relatives had been searching for her since Tuesday’s attacks by extremists on at a Brussels metro station and airport. She regularly took the subway to her job in the Belgian capital.

The ministry also said German authorities had confirmed to Italy that a German citizen of Italian origin, Jennifer Scintu Waetzmann, also died in the Brussels attacks.

___

7:20 p.m.

German official says there’s no concrete evidence that a man arrested in Duesseldorf following the Brussels attacks has current links to Islamic extremists in Brussels or Paris.

Duesseldorf prosecutors said a 28-year-old German national was arrested Thursday for theft but also is being investigated on suspicion of preparing an act of violence.

Der Spiegel magazine reported earlier Friday the man was flown to Amsterdam by Turkish authorities last summer along with one of the El Bakraoui brothers. The brothers were among Tuesday’s Brussels suicide bombers.

Frank Scheulen, a spokesman for North Rhine-Westphalia state criminal police, told n-tv television authorities are looking into indications the suspect might have Islamic extremist links. But he says “at the moment there are no concrete indications that this person has current contacts to the Islamist scene in Brussels, Paris or elsewhere.”

___

7 p.m.

Belgian federal prosecutors say DNA analysis and an official investigation have confirmed that one of the suicide bombers at the Brussels Airport was Najim Laachraoui.

They say the 24-year-old is also the suspected bombmaker whose DNA was found on a suicide vest and bomb used in the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

Thirty-one people were killed and 270 wounded in Tuesday’s bombing attacks at the Brussels airport and on a subway train in Belgium’s capital.

___

6:45 p.m.

A Belgian official says the top suspect in the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, Salah Abdeslam, has stopped cooperating with police since Tuesday’s bombings at the Brussels airport and subway.

Justice Minister Koen Geens told Belgian lawmakers Friday that Abdeslam “no longer wants to talk.”

Federal prosecutors also said Friday the suspect “refused to make the slightest comment” when questioned just after the Brussels attacks. He also “exercised his right to silence” during the second of two rounds of questioning on March 19.

Abdeslam was arrested in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek on March 18, just four days before the bombings at the Brussels airport and subway killed 31 people and wounded 270 on Tuesday.

France is seeking his extradition. Abdeslam’s lawyer initially challenged that, saying his client could have valuable information for investigators, but Abdeslam has changed his mind since the Brussels attacks and is prepared to go.

___

6:15 p.m.

The international police agency Interpol says it is providing Belgium with analytical and operational support to try to identify eventual links between the Brussels attacks and others attacks and attackers elsewhere.

The multi-pronged effort includes cross-checking information on suspects and analysis of how attackers around the globe operate, including the types of explosives and arms they use, Interpol said in a statement Friday. Interpol will also expand access to its database of stolen and lost documents.

“The tens of thousands of foreign fighters traveling to and from conflict zones have expanded the universe of potential threats,” Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock was quoted in the statement as saying. “We need to ensure that … information moves faster than the terrorists.”

___

5:55 p.m.

A Belgian electrician working near the scene of police raids in Brussels says he saw police shoot a suspect in the leg.

Norman Kabir tells The Associated Press that the man was sitting at a bus stop Friday in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek with a young girl. He says police took the girl into safe custody. Kabir says police asked the man “to put the bag far from him” and that’s what he did, but police shot him twice, apparently in the leg.

Belgian state broadcaster RTBF says police apparently feared there were explosives in the man’s bag.

Kabir says “I was very shocked … this part of Brussels is very quiet.”

Belgian prosecutors say three people have been detained in counterterrorism raids Friday in Brussels, and two of them were shot in the leg, including one person in Schaerbeek.

___

5:45 p.m.

French President Francois Hollande says the extremist network that committed the attacks in Paris and Brussels is “in the process of being annihilated” but there are still others out there.

Sitting alongside former Israeli President Shimon Peres, Hollande spoke briefly about the Paris attacks in November and the attacks in Brussels last week.

Hollande says Friday “there’s still a threat weighing on us.”

___

5:20 p.m.

Police in a German city on the Belgian border say a German woman who lived there was among the people killed in the Brussels airport bombing.

Police in Aachen said earlier this week that a couple from the city was caught up in the bombings, with the husband seriously wounded and the wife missing.

On Friday, they said in a statement citing Belgian police that the woman has now been identified as among the dead. They gave no further details, citing the need to respect relatives’ privacy.

___

5:05 p.m.

A resident of one Brussels street cordoned-off in the police raid in the Schaerbeek district says she’s still unable to leave her residence.

Veterinarian Marie-Pierre Bouvez told The Associated Press that the heavily armed officers wearing hoods who were involved in Friday’s raids left around 3:30 p.m. after launching an operation about two hours earlier that started with “two big explosions.”

Bouvez says other police still have the area locked down, and shouted at her to “get back inside” when she tried to go into the street. She says there’s much confusion and residents have not been told what’s happening.

Belgian prosecutors say three people have been detained in counterterrorism raids Friday in Brussels. Two of the three detained were shot in the leg, prosecutors say, including one person in Schaerbeek.

___

4:10 p.m.

Belgian prosecutors say three people have been detained in counterterrorism raids in Brussels prompted by the arrest of a Frenchman in the Paris area suspected of plotting a new attack.

The federal prosecutor’s office says the three were arrested Friday in three different districts of the Belgian capital — Schaerbeek, Forest and Saint-Gilles.

These arrests are believed linked to the arrest of Reda Kriket in France on Thursday. Kriket was convicted in absentia of terrorist activities last year along with the suspected ringleader of the deadly Nov. 13 attacks on Paris.

___

4 p.m.

German prosecutors say they’re investigating whether a Moroccan man detained in central Germany has any connection to the Brussels attacks.

Prosecutors in Giessen said Friday the 28-year-old, whom they didn’t identify, was picked up early Thursday because he didn’t have valid ID. They said they found documents indicating that he had been in the Brussels area recently and seized a cellphone that they are now evaluating.

They say officials established that he had previously entered Germany under various aliases and sought asylum, and that he is known to police in Italy. Authorities have opened a criminal case over suspected residency law violations and the man remains in custody.

Der Spiegel magazine and two public broadcasters are saying the man received two suspicious text messages on the day of the Brussels attacks.

___

3:45 p.m.

Belgian state broadcaster RTBF says a large police raid in Brussels is over and one person carrying a bag of explosives material has been wounded and arrested.

A resident of the cordoned-off street in the city’s Schaerbeek district, veterinary surgeon Marie-Pierre Bouvez, told The Associated Press the area remains blocked off but heavily armed officers involved in the Friday operation have gone. Police still shouted at her to stay in her office, however.

AP reporters at the scene can see explosives robots and experts still combing the area.

RTBF quoted Schaerbeek district mayor Bernard Clerfayt as saying the arrested person has been linked to the attacks in Brussels this week and an arrest in France.

___

3:20 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized Belgian authorities as incompetent for not taking action against a Brussels attacker who Turkey had deported back to Europe after detaining him at the border with Syria.

Turkish authorities say Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the suicide bombers at Brussels Airport, was caught in June in Turkey’s border province of Gaziantep and deported at his own request to the Netherlands.

They say Dutch and Belgian authorities took no action against him despite Turkish warnings that he was a “foreign terrorist fighter.”

Erodgan says in a speech in the central Turkish town of Sorgun: “We caught him at Gaziantep, we deported and sent him. Those gentlemen did not take the necessary steps against the terrorist and released him … go and explain this!”

___

3:05 p.m.

The mayor of a Brussels district says a large police raid now underway is linked to the investigation into this week’s Brussels suicide bombings and a new arrest in the Paris area.

State broadcaster RTBF quoted mayor Bernard Clerfayt as saying one person has been “neutralized” in the operation Friday in his Schaerbeek district. He did not say whether that meant the person was arrested or wounded.

Clerfayt says the raid is linked to Tuesday’s attacks on the Brussels airport and subway and to the arrest of a man Thursday in the Paris area. Officials say that man had a Belgian terror conviction and connections to the suspected ringleader of last year’s deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

Prime Minister Charles Michel skipped a wreath-laying ceremony at the Brussels airport with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry because of the ongoing police operation.

___

2:45 p.m.

A new blast has been heard from a police operation in a Brussels neighborhood that once housed a hideout for the suicide bombers who targeted the city’s airport and subway system this week.

Associated Press reporters at the scene described hearing a new detonation, though it was unclear whether it was a controlled police detonation or something else.

Earlier, a witness speaking on Belgian state broadcaster RTBF described hearing two blasts and shots from heavy weapons during the police raid on the Schaerbeek neighborhood.

About 50 officers appear to be involved in the operation. It is unclear whether it is linked to Tuesday’s attacks. A tram passing through the area was stopped and evacuated and police cordoned off a wide perimeter of streets.

___

2:15 p.m.

Belgian state media is reporting that two explosions have been heard and one person has been detained in police raids in the Brussels neighborhood of Schaerbeek.

It is not clear whether the raids are linked to the investigation into deadly attacks Tuesday on Brussels’ airport and subway system. At least one suspect in those attacks is at large, and it is unclear whether there were other accomplices.

State broadcaster RTBF says multiple police operations are underway in Schaerbeek, and one person has been detained. It says one explosion was heard at the start of the operation and cited witnesses describing gunfire.

Police earlier this week found a large stash of explosives in an apartment in Schaerbeek believed to have been used by suicide bombers in Tuesday’s attacks.

___

1:45 p.m.

The family of two New York City siblings has confirmed that authorities confirmed they died in the bombings in Brussels.

Belgian authorities and the Dutch Embassy positively identified the remains of Alexander and Sascha Pinczowski.

The information was issued Friday by James Cain on behalf of the Pinczowski family. Cain is the father of Alexander’s fiancé, Cameron Cain. He says the family is “grateful to have closure on this tragic situation.” The siblings were on the phone with a relative while at Brussels airport when the phone went dead.

They were Dutch nationals, according to officials in the Netherlands, but both apparently had lived in the U.S. for some time.

___

1:30 p.m.

A German magazine is reporting that two people with possible links to people involved in the Brussels attacks were arrested separately in Germany this week.

Der Spiegel, which didn’t name its sources, reported that a man whom Turkish authorities flew to Amsterdam last summer along with one of the El Bakraoui brothers was arrested in Duesseldorf Thursday. The magazine said authorities are looking into whether the two knew each other.

The brothers were among the Brussels suicide bombers in Tuesday’s attacks that killed 31 people.

Der Spiegel as well as broadcasters SWR and RBB reported that another man was arrested in Giessen on Wednesday. According to Friday’s reports, the man received two suspicious text messages on the day of the attacks: one containing the name of one of the attackers, and the other the French word “fin” (“end”).

Local prosecutors couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the Good Friday holiday.

Federal prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Frauke Koehler would only say that authorities “are of course looking into all leads, but so far we have no knowledge of any operational links between the attacks in Brussels and Paris and Germany.”

___

12:50 p.m.

At Brussels’ Place de la Bourse, where thousands have gathered to place candles and leave flowers, city archives staff were peeling rain-sodden messages of solidarity off the ground, drying them with paper towels, and putting them into plastic bins.

The workers — who wore fluorescent vests emblazoned with the words “We are working to protect and preserve your messages” — stepped gingerly among the flags, tea candles and beer bottles left as tokens of support, slowly picking the sopping hand-written notes and stacking them into the bins.

The plaza has become a memorial site, covered in flags from a dozen countries and messages in multiple languages.

___

12:45 p.m.

British officials say a U.K. citizen died during the attacks in Brussels earlier this week.

They confirmed that David Dixon, a computer programmer living in Brussels, was killed in the bombing on the Brussels subway.

Officials said seven other British nationals were injured, too.

Dixon’s family has asked for privacy and indicated no statements will be made.

A Chinese national is also reported to have been killed, according to the Chinese Embassy in Belgium. He was identified only by his surname — Deng. No further details were released.

__

12 p.m.

A U.S. official says at least two American citizens have been confirmed killed in this week’s attacks in Brussels.

The announcement comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting the city to express his condolences to the Belgian people.

Speaking after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Kerry said the “United States is praying and grieving with you for the loved ones of those cruelly taken from us, including Americans, and for the many who were injured in these despicable attacks.”

He did not give a specific number but a senior official said the families of two Americans had been informed of their deaths in Tuesday’s attacks. The official, who was not authorized to speak to the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, did not have further details.

___

10:55 a.m.

Belgium’s nuclear agency has withdrawn the entry badges of some staff and has denied access to other people amid concern the country’s nuclear plants could be a target for extremists.

Nuclear control agency spokeswoman Nele Scheerlinck said Friday that “in recent days, several people have been refused access to the nuclear sites.”

But she said the move “is not necessarily linked with the terrorist attacks.”

Immediately after Tuesday’s attacks on the Brussels airport and subway, security was boosted around Belgium’s nuclear sites and hundreds of staff were sent home.

Scheerlinck said the decision to withdraw badges or deny access usually takes weeks and is based on information from the intelligence services and police, as well as a person’s criminal record.

She declined to say how many were refused entry, but denied Belgian media reports that 11 staff had badges withdrawn at the Tihange plant since early last week.

___

10:15 a.m.

French officials say a man arrested by intelligence agents in a Paris suburb has connections to the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks.

Two French officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to be able to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the man detained Thursday is Reda Kriket, a 34-year-old Frenchman wanted since January on suspicion of links to terrorism. France’s interior minister said the man was in the “advanced stages” of a plot to attack a target in France.

A Belgian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said Kriket was convicted in absentia in July along with Abdelhamid Abaaoud and others for being part of a recruiting network for jihad in Syria.

Authorities have identified Abaaoud as the ringleader of the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. He died in a police raid a few days later.

France’s interior minister said there was no evidence “at this stage” to link Kriket to last year’s Paris attacks or this week’s attacks in Brussels. But a French police official said explosives and multiple weapons, including at least one assault rifle, were found in an hours-long search of a home in Argenteuil.

— By Associated Press Writers Lori Hinnant in Paris and John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels.

___

9:05 a.m.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Brussels for counter-terrorism talks with EU and Belgian officials and to pay his respects to the victims of this week’s attacks.

Kerry landed at the still-closed Brussels airport for a brief, hastily scheduled stop from Moscow, where he said the attacks underscored the urgency of unity in the fight against the Islamic State group. The group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s bombings at the airport departure terminal and a downtown subway station that in total killed 31 people and wounded 270.

On his five-hour visit Kerry is set to meet with European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders as well as King Philippe. He will also lay a wreath at a memorial site at the airport for attack victims.

___

8.45 a.m.

The Netherlands’ foreign minister says three Dutch citizens were killed in the bombing at Brussels airport.

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement Friday that the victims were a woman from the eastern city of Deventer and a brother and sister from the southern Limburg province who live in the United States. He did not release their identities.

Koenders, who is on a visit to Indonesia, says “it is terrible that these people have been killed by the arbitrariness of terror.”

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BRUSSELS — Three suicide bombers — including a pair of brothers — carried out the attacks on Brussels on Tuesday, the Belgian authorities announced on Wednesday, as they continued to hunt for at least one more assailant. The toll from the assaults stood at 31 dead and 270 injured.

Investigators were urgently piecing together links between the attacks, on the Brussels Airport and on a subway car, to the November terrorist assaults that killed 130 people in and around Paris in November. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for both sets of attacks.

In a trash can in Brussels, police found a computer with a document suggesting that the attackers acted out of a sense of urgency and desperation after the capture on Friday of Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving direct participant in the Paris attacks.

In the document, which authorities called a will, the elder brother, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, 29, wrote that he no longer felt safe, did not know what to do and feared that if he dallied, he would end up “next to him in a cell.” It was not immediately clear if “him” was a reference to Mr. Abdeslam.

Interactive Feature | Live Updates The Times has reporters on the scene. Follow our latest updates.

Mr. Bakraoui and another man blew themselves up at Brussels Airport at 7:58 a.m. Tuesday, in two explosions, nine seconds apart. At 9:11 a.m., his younger brother, Khalid el-Bakraoui, 27, carried out a suicide attack at the Maelbeek subway station.

The authorities on Wednesday evening were trying to determine if the other suicide bomber at the airport was Najim Laachraoui, 24, a Belgian who, like Mr. Abdeslam, has been linked to the Paris attacks.

The Bakraoui brothers had a history of violent crime, but Belgian officials said they had no reason to suspect that they were terrorists until recently.

On Wednesday evening, however, Turkey’s president contradicted that account , announcing that his government had detained Ibrahim el-Bakraoui near the Syrian border on June 14, alerted the Belgian government that he “was a foreign terrorist fighter,” and then deported him.

“Despite our warnings that this person was a foreign terrorist fighter, the Belgian authorities could not identify a link to terrorism,” the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said at a news conference in Ankara, the nation’s capital.

Graphic | How the Brussels and Paris Attackers Could Be Connected Belgian officials are uncovering evidence that could link two of the suicide bombers in Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels to the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

The Belgian government did not have an immediate response to his announcement.

In a news conference on Wednesday morning, Frédéric Van Leeuw, the Belgian federal prosecutor, described the trail that led investigators to identify the brothers.

After the attacks, a taxi driver approached the police and led them to a house on the Rue Max Roos, in the Schaerbeek section of Brussels, where he had picked up three men, according to Mr. Van Leeuw. There, the authorities found about 33 pounds of the explosive material triacetone triperoxide, or TATP — a large amount. (By comparison, officials say the suicide belts used by the Paris attackers each contained less than a pound of TATP.)

At the house in Schaerbeek, investigators also found nearly 40 gallons of acetone and nearly eight gallons of hydrogen peroxide. Acetone, a solvent found in nail polish remover, and hydrogen peroxide, found in hair bleach, are among the ingredients used to make TATP. The investigators also found detonators, a suitcase full of nails and screws, and other materials that could be used to make explosive devices.

As the investigation continued, Belgium remained in a state of mourning and on the highest level of alert. The nation observed a minute of silence at noon for the victims. The airport, where about 10 people died, stayed closed. Many subway lines were not running. The Maelbeek station, where about 20 people were killed, remained shut. Schools reopened, but many employees stayed home.

Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium said his country would show resolve. “The European values of democracy and of freedom are what was savagely assaulted by these tragic attacks,” he said after meeting in Brussels with his French counterpart, Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Mr. Valls said, “Our two peoples are united in this hardship.”

Interactive Feature | Terrorist Attacks in Belgium Despite its relatively small size, Belgium has become the scene of several terror attacks and plots.

On Wednesday, the Belgian police raided a building in the Anderlecht neighborhood of Brussels. Officers in hazmat suits carted out files and plastic boxes from the building, while masked officers stood guard outside. Two police officers in the neighborhood said an arrest had been made, but the identity of the person arrested was not clear.

Several Belgian news outlets reported last week that the Bakraoui brothers, who grew up in the working-class Laeken neighborhood of Brussels, had been wanted for questioning since the March 15 raid. It was not clear why the authorities did not formally ask the public to help find them.

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2010 for shooting at police officers after the attempted robbery of a currency exchange office. It was not clear when or why he was released — or how he ended up in Turkey. (The Turkish government said he was deported to the Netherlands, not Belgium, but did not provide an explanation.)

In 2011, Khalid el-Bakraoui was sentenced to five years in prison for attempted carjacking; at the time of his arrest, he was in possession of assault rifles. Interpol issued an arrest warrant for him in August after he violated the conditions of his parole.

Khalid el-Bakraoui is believed to have used a false name to rent a safe house in Charleroi, Belgium, and the apartment in Forest. Fingerprints belonging to two of the Paris attackers, Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Bilal Hadfi, were found in the Charleroi house on Dec. 9, and Mr. Abdeslam’s prints were found in the Forest apartment after the March 15 raid.

Graphic | What Happened at Each Location in the Brussels Attacks Maps and diagrams show the extent of the damage at the airport and subway station.

Speaking on Belgian radio on Wednesday morning, Interior Minister Jan Jambon of Belgium said that police raids would continue, and that the threat status would remain at its highest level, 4.

“There are many hypotheses to put on the table,” he said. “It’s up to investigators to sort out fact from fiction.”

Mr. Jambon discounted speculation that the attacks were reprisals for the arrest of Mr. Abdeslam, saying it was unlikely that terrorists “could have launched attacks of a scale seen yesterday in two, three days.”

Speaking later to RTL radio, Mr. Jambon said it was also unlikely that the attacks could have been avoided even if Belgium had been at the highest threat level instead of Level 3, which was imposed after the Paris attacks.

“We were at Level 3; that means the probability is enormously elevated,” he said, adding that Belgium had “everything possible in place to avoid a catastrophe like what happened yesterday, like other countries.”

Video A breakdown of the locations in Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels.

Mr. Jambon added, “A zero risk is not going to happen.”

“Level 4 is when we have information that an attack will occur at a certain moment, in a certain place,” he continued. “We did not have that information.”

The Place du Grand Sablon, a handsome square in central Brussels that normally pulsates with tourists and shoppers seeking chocolates and luxury goods, was silent on Wednesday. Several shops were closed. At one cafe, the few customers were hunched over newspapers.

Under gray drizzle, the road in front of the Maelbeek subway station remained closed. Most employees of the European Union buildings in the area, which is usually bustling on a weekday morning, appeared to have stayed home.

“It’s a scary situation,” said Anton Zeilinger, an Austrian diplomat who lives and works nearby and who was at his office when the station was bombed on Tuesday. He said of the attackers, “A few bombs won’t destroy the way we live, even if they want to.”

Dozens of people continued to congregate at the Place de la Bourse to light candles and place flowers, drawings and other tokens of grief at a makeshift memorial in the middle of the square. Hundreds gathered at noon to stand in silence, before breaking into applause.

In the Eurostar lounge at the Gare du Midi, one of the main train stations in Brussels, passengers also observed a minute of silence at noon. Access to the station was permitted through just one entrance, and soldiers searched bags and luggage before allowing anyone in to buy tickets or to walk to the platforms. The subway lines that connect the train station to the rest of the city were closed.

Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union’s counterterrorism coordinator, told the broadcaster RTBF that the apparent link between the Bakraoui brothers and Mr. Abdeslam suggested that the Brussels attacks were not the work of another active terrorist cell.

From a security perspective, that could mitigate the current threat, he suggested.

Brussels Airport said it would be closed at least through Thursday.

Areas like the Brussels Airport departure hall are particularly vulnerable because, like at most Western airports, bags are not searched until after check-in. That allows a bomb to be packed into a suitcase that could have far more space than an explosive vest and therefore be far more lethal.

In terrorism-plagued countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, and across the Middle East, bags are put through scanners when travelers enter the airport.

At least one of the bombs at Brussels Airport did far more damage and appears to have been far more powerful than those used in Paris, blowing out many of the windows in the large departure hall and shaking nearby buildings.

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BRUSSELS — Two suicide bombers who carried out deadly attacks on Tuesday in Brussels have been identified as brothers with criminal records, Belgian officials said on Wednesday. The toll from the assaults, at the city’s main airport and at a subway station in central Brussels, stood at 31 dead and 270 injured.

The brothers — Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, 30, and Khalid el-Bakraoui, 27 — were both Belgian and had a criminal history, but they had no known links to terrorism until the authorities conducted a raid on March 15 on an apartment in the Forest district of Brussels as part of the investigation into the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and another man blew themselves up at the airport at 7:58 a.m. — in two explosions, nine seconds apart — and then Khalid el-Bakraoui carried out a suicide attack at the Maelbeek subway station around an hour later, Frédéric Van Leeuw, the Belgian federal prosecutor, said at a news conference. It was not immediately clear whether Khalid el-Bakraoui had also participated in the airport attacks.

Belgium observed a minute of silence at noon on Wednesday. The nation remained in a state of mourning and on the highest state of alert. The airport, which is being treated as a crime scene, remains closed. Many subway lines were not running. The Maelbeek station, where about 20 people were killed, remained shut. Some schools were open, but many employees stayed home.

Interactive Feature | Terrorist Attacks in Belgium Despite its relatively small size, Belgium has become the scene of several terror attacks and plots. Other recent attacks.

An intensive hunt continued for a man who was recorded by a security camera alongside Ibrahim el-Bakraoui at the airport on Tuesday and who is believed to have fled.

The police raided a building in the Anderlecht neighborhood of Brussels on Wednesday. Officers in hazmat suits carted out files and plastic boxes from the building, while masked officers stood guard outside. Two police officers in the neighborhood said an arrest had been made, but the identity of the person arrested was not clear.

Since Friday, Belgian authorities have been searching for Najim Laachraoui, a suspect who has been linked to the Paris attacks in November. Whether Mr. Laachraoui was involved in the attacks on Tuesday is not clear.

Several Belgian news outlets reported last week that the Bakraoui brothers had been wanted since the March 15 raid. It was not clear why the authorities had not asked the public to help find them.

Khalid el-Bakraoui is believed to have rented the apartment in Forest under a false name, and another in Charleroi, Belgium. The raid in Forest turned up fingerprints belonging to Salah Abdeslam, who was captured on Friday and is suspected of having participated in the Paris attacks.

Interactive Feature | Live Updates The Times has reporters on the scene. Follow our latest updates.

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2010 for shooting at police officers after the attempted robbery of a currency exchange office.

In 2011, Khalid el-Bakraoui was convicted on charges of attempted carjacking; at the time of his arrest, he had been in possession of assault rifles.

Mr. Laachraoui’s DNA was found on at least one of the suicide belts used in the Paris attacks and at a house in the Schaerbeek district of Brussels, according to Claude Moniquet, a former intelligence official in France and the co-founder of a Belgium-based think tank, the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center. In Schaerbeek, the police found traces of the explosive TATP and believe suicide vests may have been assembled there, Mr. Moniquet said.

The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said that a raid Tuesday afternoon in Schaerbeek turned up “an explosive device” and “chemical products,” but it was not immediately clear if TATP was among them.

Speaking on Belgian radio on Wednesday morning, Interior Minister Jan Jambon said that police raids would continue, and that the threat status would remain at its highest level, 4.

Graphic | What Happened at Each Location in the Brussels Attacks Maps and diagrams show the extent of the damage at the airport and subway station.

“There are many hypotheses to put on the table,” he said. “It’s up to investigators to sort out fact from fiction.”

Mr. Jambon discounted speculation that the attacks were reprisals for the arrest of Mr. Abdeslam, saying it was unlikely that terrorists “could have launched attacks of a scale seen yesterday in two, three days.”

Speaking later to RTL radio, Mr. Jambon said it was unlikely that the attacks could have been avoided even if Belgium had been at the highest threat level instead of Level 3, which was imposed after the Paris attacks.

“We were at Level 3; that means the probability is enormously elevated,” he said, adding that Belgium had “everything possible in place to avoid a catastrophe like what happened yesterday, like other countries.”

Mr. Jambon added, “A zero risk is not going to happen.”

“Level 4 is when we have information that an attack will occur at a certain moment, in a certain place,” he continued. “We did not have that information.”

Video A breakdown of the locations in Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels.

Belgium remained at its highest terror alert level on Wednesday. Some bus, subway and tram lines were operating with limited stops, while others were still shut down. Security forces were monitoring access to the subway network and checking bags. Subway service was limited to the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eurostar trains connecting Brussels and London were running again. And as of 4 p.m., citizens will no longer be asked to stay indoors.

The Place du Grand Sablon, a handsome square in central Brussels that normally pulsates with tourists and shoppers seeking chocolates and luxury goods, was silent. Several shops were closed. At one cafe, the few customers were hunched over newspapers.

Under gray drizzle, the road in front of the Maelbeek subway station remained closed. Most employees of the European Union buildings in the area, which is usually bustling on a weekday morning, appeared to have stayed home.

“It’s a scary situation,” said Anton Zeilinger, an Austrian diplomat who lives and works nearby and who was at his office when the station was bombed on Tuesday. He said of the attackers, “A few bombs won’t destroy the way we live, even if they want to.”

Dozens of people continued to gather at the Place de la Bourse to light candles and place flowers, drawings and other tokens of grief at a makeshift memorial in the middle of the square.

In the Eurostar lounge at the Gare du Midi, one of the main train stations in Brussels, passengers stood in silence at noon. Access to the station was through just one entrance, and soldiers searched bags and luggage before allowing anyone in to buy tickets or to walk to the platforms. The subway lines that connect the train station to the rest of the city were closed.

Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union’s counterterrorism coordinator, told RTBF that the apparent link between the Bakraoui brothers and Mr. Abdeslam suggested that the Brussels attacks were not the work of another active terrorist cell.

From a security perspective, that could mitigate the current threat, he suggested.

The Brussels Airport said Wednesday morning that it was still determining when it could reopen, but that it would be closed at least through Thursday.

Areas like the Brussels Airport departure hall are particularly vulnerable because, like at most Western airports, bags are not searched until after check-in. That allows a would-be attacker to pack a bomb into a suitcase that could have far more space than an explosive vest and therefore be far more lethal.

In terrorism-plagued countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, and across the Middle East, bags are put through scanners when travelers enter the airport.

At least one of the bombs used in Brussels — the one at the airport — did far more damage and appears to have been far more powerful than those used in Paris, blowing out many of the windows in the large departure hall and shaking nearby buildings.

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