PM Orbán Orders Second-Degree Terror Alert As Brussels Is Shaken By Bomb Attack
Ferenc Sullivan 2016.03.22.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has learned with shock of this morning’s terrorist attack at a Brussels airport. The Prime Minister feels with victims’ relatives and wishes a fast recovery to the wounded.
The Hungarian premier has also requested immediate and continuous briefing on the situation from the leaders of the competent foreign, police and counter-terror services, with decisions on possibly necessary measures being made based on the information they provide.
Following the Brussels terror attack, counter-terror police were immediately deployed to Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport and subway stations across the capital (Deák tér metro station is featured on index.hu’s photo)
Speaking to journalists, Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér has since announced that the Prime Minister has temporarily ordered a second-degree terror alert with effect across the entire area of Hungary.
According to Belgocontrol, the Belgian air navigation and traffic service provider, the flight from the Hungarian capital Budapest was among the last to be safely received before the attack. The other final flights that landed before the bombings arrived from Stockholm, Berlin, Geneva, Oslo and Prague.
Speaking before the Tuesday meeting of the Hungarian National Assembly’s national security committee, Károly Papp, the country’s national police chief, said that he has ordered the strengthening of controls at Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport and around the capital’s metro stations. Passengers’ freedom will not be restricted but police presence and checks will be enhanced, he said.
So far, two Hungarian MEPs – Benedek Jávor for the opposition PM party and István Ujhelyi, who represents the Socialists in Brussels – have reported that they are alive and well in the Belgian capital. According to Hungary’s ambassador to Belgium, two Hungarian government employees – a female at the airport and a male at Maelbeek metro station – were mildly injured in the string of explosions, but there are no Hungarian fatal casualties.
According to the latest reports, the terrorist attack in the Belgian capital has so far claimed in excess of ten lives, while dozens of people have been injured. Although there is currently no information of any Hungarian casualties, enquiries can be made at the Hungarian embassy in Brussels (telephone number: +32 2 348 18 00) or through a designated Belgian website (http://ikbenveilig.rodekruis.nl/brussel) and hotline (+32 02 506 47 11).