Brussels attacks Belgium officials admit security lapses over attacks

The two ministers offered to resign Thursday but was turned down by Prime Minister Charles Michel, who ask them to stay on.

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Belgium's justice and interior ministers admitted in separate interviews Thursday that authorities failed to act on a request by Turkey to take custody of a Belgian Citizen arrested for suspected terrorist activity last year.

The admissions by justice minister, Koen Geens, and interior minister, Jan Jambon, came after the bombing on Tuesday.

“What’s essential in the story is that with the passing on of the information from Turkey and with the passing on of the information within Belgium, we have been slower than one could have expected under those circumstances,” Mr. Geens said on Flemish television in Belgium. “So, the information was passed on, but we have not been diligent, or probably not diligent enough.”

Mr. Jambon said in an interview with Le Soir newspaper that there had been “Two types of mistakes, at the level of the Justice Ministry and at the level of the liaison officer in Turkey, which involves the Interior and Justice ministries.”

The two ministers offered to resign Thursday but were turned down by Prime Minister Charles Michel, who asked them to stay on.

"In time of war, you cannot leave the field," Jambon, a right-wing Flemish nationalist, said.

Two explosions occurred on Tuesday March  21 in the departure hall of the Zaventem airport and a metro substation in Brussels that claimed the lives of 31 people and injured many.

The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attacks in a statement issued on the IS-linked Amaq agency.

Meanwhile, 6 people were arrested in Brussels yesterday in relation to Tuesday’s attacks.The arrests were made in the Schaerbeek district. Their identities have not been made public yet by authorities.

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