March 22, 2016 9:25 am
Updated: March 22, 2016 12:52 pm

Trudeau, world leaders condemn ‘deplorable’ Brussels attacks

Canadian and world leaders react to Brussels attack.

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OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the attacks in Brussels this morning, while Air Canada warned that flights to the Belgian city may be cancelled and security was beefed up at one of Toronto’s main transportation hubs.

On Twitter, Trudeau called the attacks “deplorable” and said his thoughts were with the victims as Canada stands with Belgium and the European Union.

Belgian officials said the casualty toll from three explosions in the capital was 26 dead and at least 136 injured.

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READ MORE: What Canadian travellers should know about Brussels attacks

Belgian Health Minister Maggie de Block said 11 people were dead and 81 injured in twin explosions at the Brussels airport. A Brussels subway spokesman said 15 people were killed and 55 injured in an explosion at the Maelbeek train station.

Global Affairs Canada said it had no reports of any Canadian citizens being affected by Tuesday's explosions.

The ministry also said the Canadian Embassy in Brussels was “closely monitoring the situation” and was trying to determine if any Canadians have been affected.

LIVE COVERAGE: Brussels on lockdown after explosions rock airport, subway

In an advisory posted on its website early Tuesday, Global Affairs said while there was no nationwide advisory in effect for Belgium, Canadians should exercise a “high degree of caution due to the current elevated threat of terrorism.”

More than 200 flights to Brussels were diverted or cancelled, according to flight tracking service Flightradar24.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline’s staff and crew in Brussels were safe and sound and that one flight had been diverted to Paris.

READ MORE: Facebook activates ‘Safety Check’ feature following Brussels explosions

Political leaders and others around Europe have expressed their shock at the attacks in Brussels Tuesday. Here are some of the reactions:

“We are at war. We have been subjected for the last few months in Europe to acts of war.” – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

“We realize we face a tragic moment. We have to be calm and show solidarity.” – Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

“The King and Queen are devastated by the attacks.” – statement from Belgium’s royal family. “The emotional thoughts of the King and Queen go first to the victims and their families and the rescue services which are doing everything possible to help the victims.”

Pope Francis said he “condemns once again the blind violence that breeds so much suffering, and implores the gift of peace from God” for all Belgians.

“This is the latest terrorist outrage and today is a day for sympathy and condolence, for enhancing our own security, for working with our own colleagues and offering them every help we can and making sure we are very clear that we will never let these terrorists win.” – British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“These attacks mark another low by the terrorists in the service of hatred and violence.” – EU Council President Donald Tusk.

“Terrorists struck Brussels but it was Europe that was targeted – and all the world that is concerned.”- French President Francois Hollande.

“The attacks “have once again shown terrorism’s global face.” – Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

“It’s time for Europe to understand where the genuine threat is coming from and join efforts with Russia.” – Prominent Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov.

The attacks “carry a cowardly and barbaric signature” and “Europe must combat terror jointly and determinedly defend its European values” – joint statement from Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and Vice-Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner.

— With files from the Associated Press

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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