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Blasts in Brussels: Europe vows to defend democracy against terrorism
Published :Wednesday, 23 March, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 13

BRUSSELS, Mar 22 : European countries on Tuesday vowed to defend democracy against terrorism after blasts at Brussels airport and in the EU's institutional heart left at least 26 dead and dozens injured.
"The whole of Europe has been hit," French President Francois Hollande declared, urging the continent to take "vital steps in the face of the seriousness of the threat."
As country after country voiced anger and dismay, Russia and Turkey -- themselves targets of deadly attacks in the last eight months -- said the blasts highlighted the need to fight terrorism of every hue and across all borders.
"This is a day of tragedy, a black day," Michel said on national television.
"Our Union's capital is under attack. We mourn the dead and pledge to conquer terror through democracy," the Greek foreign ministry said in a tweet. It added in French, "Nous sommes tous Bruxellois," -- "We are all citizens of Brussels."
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said: "Terrorism will never defeat us. The union of democrats in Europe will always prevail over barbarism and madness."
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven described the blasts as "an attack against democratic Europe. We will never accept that terrorists attack our open societies."
In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was to be lit up in the colours of Belgium on Tuesday night in homage to "the victims, their families and the Belgian people," said city mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Russia and Turkey said the blasts underscored the global need to fight terrorism across borders.
A Russian plane was downed by a bomb over the Sinai Peninsula in October that killed 224 people, while Turkey has suffered more than 200 civilian deaths in six major attacks since July, blamed on Kurdish rebels and jihadists.      ?AFP

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