As the initial shock of the Brussels attacks begins to subside, world leaders and social media users have poured out their grief and anger in statements of solidarity.
The statue of a cheekily urinating boy that has long drawn tourists to Brussels’ city centre took on a new role on the Internet on Tuesday after attacks in the city that killed at least 30 people.
The cherubic Manneken Pis, belovedly irreverent icon of the Bruxellois, was shown relieving himself on a Kalashnikov in images on Twitter using the colours of the Belgian flag: a red boy and yellow gun against a black background. #mannekenpis
I just don’t understand. And my heart hurts. #BrusselsAttacks pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/sZq24g1s6H
— Tanya Storm (@TanyaStorm) March 22, 2016
The colours also lit up the Eiffel Tower, symbol of Paris, where people shared sympathies linked by November’s attacks in the French capital apparently planned by Islamist militants in Brussels.
Close to Mannekin Pis, thousands of people gathered in one of Brussels’ main squares to lay flowers under banners echoing the slogan #JeSuisBruxelles.
Brussels residents also tweeted offers of help to people stranded in the city rooms and transport after twin attacks, claimed by Islamic State, on the airport and a rush-hour metro train.
Nice to See the world support other countries at times like this #BrusselsAttacks pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/6EMh5WVypG
— Faith in Humanity (@TheWorldImages) March 22, 2016
The Brussels Chamber of Commerce said hotels would offer free rooms to families and friends of the victims.
A new Twitter account called “Brussels Lift” was created to help connect “people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats”.
People were using the hashtag #BrusselsLift to ask for rides and offer car spaces.
Offers included #ikwillhelpen (I want to help) and tags such as #PorteOuverte and #OpenHouse, first used to show solidarity with Paris after November’s attacks in which 130 died.
#BrusselsAttacks street message. pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/FXFVigl4Hh
— Anonymous (@LatestAnonNews) March 22, 2016
The Brussels blasts, close to European Union institutions, triggered security alerts across Europe and halted some cross-border transport.
Police cordoned off a wide area around the glass and steel EU buildings, putting soldiers on streets that lead down the main avenue through the area where the metro explosion took place and blocking access from Brussels’ main park.
Flights in and out of Brussels were cancelled and the city went into lockdown with the government urging people to use data services such as WhatsApp to avoid over-burdening phone networks. Brussels airport will remain closed on Wednesday, CEO Arnaud Feist said.
For those still stranded in #Brussels, space available near Grand Place and Central Station. #PorteOuverte #OpenHouse #OpenHuis #IkWilHelpen
— Ahmed Ej (@twtAhmed) March 22, 2016
Other public transport began gradually to reopen.
The Brussels Chamber of Commerce said hotels were offering free rooms but it was too early to say how many would be available.
Plantu, the celebrated cartoonist for French newspaper Le Monde, drew a figure in the red, white and blue of the French flag hugging another in the red, gold and black tricolour of Belgium. Both were in tears.
I can offer two people a sofa to sleep on in Leuven if there are still people in need of a place to spend the night #ikwilhelpen
— Bert Van de Poel (@bertvandepoel) March 22, 2016
Scores of people gathered on the pedestrian zone in central Brussels to scrawl messages such as “BXL forever”, “We are one”, “Pray for Belgium”, “Let’s take back control of our world”, and “Don’t touch my country”.
Facebook activated its “safety check” feature after the attacks, enabling users to reassure friends and relatives.
People used the hashtags #JeSuisBelge (I am Belgian) and #JeSuisBruxelles (I am Brussels) to express solidarity.
World leaders express support
President Barack Obama says the US stands “in solidarity” with Belgium following twin terror attacks that killed at least 30 people.
Obama is pledging that the US will “do whatever is necessary” to help Belgium bring to justice the perpetrators of the attacks at the airport and a metro station.
He spoke during a visit to Cuba, the attacks are another reminder that the world must unite against the scourge of terrorism.
This morning in Cuba, @POTUS made a statement on the attacks in #Brussels. 苏州美甲培训学校,长沙SPA,/PBKqYeVg8A
— Josh Earnest (@PressSec) March 22, 2016
The US State Department says an undetermined number of US citizens have been hurt in twin terror attacks in Brussels but no Americans are known to have been killed.
“We know that a number of US citizens were injured in the attack, but we do not have an accurate figure right now. We do not know of any US deaths at this point,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told a briefing on Tuesday.
He added that the situation was fluid and declined to say exactly how many reports of US injuries the department had received so far.
Aus Gov condemns the horrific terror attacks in Brussels, thoughts with Belgian people, travel advice upgraded 苏州美甲培训学校,长沙SPA,/nrq0iDvP5D
— Julie Bishop (@JulieBishopMP) March 22, 2016
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop condemned the bombings saying the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was urgently trying to find out if any Australians had been hurt.
Australia has upgraded travel advice for Belgium, advising travellers to reconsider their need to go there.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the terror attacks in Brussels have underlined the need to pool global efforts for combating terrorism.
Putin offered condolences to the families of the victims in Brussels where bombings at the airport and a metro station killed at least 30 people.
#jesuisbruxelle: Cartoonists around the world respond to #brusselsattack, via @courrierinter 苏州美甲培训学校,长沙SPA,/Cct31An3TU pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/hb4n7O4jKo
— Thomas Coombes (@T_Coombes) March 22, 2016
He added that it’s possible to efficiently combat terrorism but only using united efforts.
He added “we have repeatedly discussed the issues related to the fight against terrorism, and it’s possible to efficiently combat it only by united efforts.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to work with Belgium to find and punish the perpetrators of the attacks.
Black, yellow and red
As TV images showed a similar light show playing across the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, at French President Francois Hollande’s official residence, the French tricolour flew at half-mast and Belgian flags stood at the main entrance.
“We are united,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a tweet announcing the special Eiffel Tower illuminations.
In another show of solidarity, Rome lit up its famed Trevi Fountain and its city hall with the colours of the Belgian flag.
Terror can’t kill Belgian sense of humor. Pis and love Brussels. via @esperanzah pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/oJTLfKsAQ0
— María Tejero Martín (@Maria_Tejero) March 22, 2016
“There is no security in Europe any more,” said Samira, a 42 year-old social worker in Paris. “It’s very worrying.”
The front page of Le Monde daily bore a cartoon depicting a person draped in the French flag with an arm around another wearing the black, yellow and red national colours of Belgium, with the dates November 13 and March 22 inscribed underneath.
The Gare du Nord station in Paris swarmed with police, its Brussels-bound Thalys trains – on which a gunman was disarmed last year – stuck at platforms since the morning.
Yeng Yi, 25, a Chinese student based in Barcelona, was among those affected by the train cancellations.
“Pis and Love”
“Heart over Hate”#Brussels #vigile pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/eCNEGzTyQ3
— Raphael Satter (@razhael) March 22, 2016
“I’m terrified by what happened … Maybe I’ll go back to Barcelona,” she said.
Hoteliers in Paris, the world’s most visited city, were jittery.
Hit hard by the November killings, they have been hoping for an upturn linked to the Euro 2016 football tournament that starts in June.
Movie studio Warner Bros went ahead with Tuesday’s London premiere of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” its new superhero movie, but skipped the traditional red carpet press interviews following the attacks in Brussels.
Tintin tears up in solidarity for #Brussels. These images are going viral. @akhbar pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/XEIayfP3Wa
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) March 22, 2016
“Our hearts go out to the victims of recent terrorist attacks, their families and the communities impacted around the world. Rather than yield to terror, we’ve decided to join the film’s fans and move forward with the London premiere of ‘Batman v. Superman’ this evening,” Warner Bros. said in a statement.