Two Belgians, one Peruvian woman named as victims of Brussels attacks

A university student and a government worker from Belgium and a Peruvian woman married to a Belgian were among the confirmed dead Wednesday following the terrorist attacks in Brussels, as identification efforts continue for other victims.

"Dear students, it is with immense sadness that I inform you of the death of Leopold Hecht," the Dean of Saint-Louis University, Pierre Jadoul, wrote in a Facebook message, describing the 20-year-old Hecht as a law student.

In another Facebook message, the Wallonie-Brussels Federation - a French-speaking section of Belgium's multi-layered government - expressed its condolences for the death of employee Olivier Delespesse.

The Peruvian Foreign Ministry said "compatriot Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz" died in the airport attack. Belgian media said she leaves behind twin daughters aged 3, as well as her husband.

Reports of other victims were still being confirmed.

Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur warned late on Tuesday that identifying victims would "take some time."

"It's a very difficult job because it is a question of identifying people, but also of reassembling scattered body parts," Judicial Police Commissioner Catherine De Bol was quoted as saying by the RTL Info news site.

Jewish Orthodox site JSS News wrote that Israeli Yossef Haim ben Haya Sarah Gittel died at the Brussels airport, while the government in Rome suspected that an Italian woman died at Maelbeek metro station.

"The prime minister informed us that they are verifying a possible Italian victim," chief centrist lawmaker Maurizio Lupi said after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi chaired a meeting with parliamentary leaders.

"She was a woman who used to regularly take the metro and who should be among the victims of the metro [attack] but the violence of the blast has made victims unrecognizable," Lupi said.

Health Minister Maggie De Block told the Flemish VRT broadcaster that medical resources were being concentrated on caring for the injured. "[Treating] the patient takes precedence over identification," she said.

The Belgian Foreign Ministry said there were more than 40 nationalities among the dead and injured.

Last update: Wed, 23/03/2016 - 20:41
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