brussels attacks subway bruxelles.jpg

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.

Latest news

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Montenegrin police extradites Miodrag Jovic to Croatia

Montenegrin police reported on Wednesday that they extradited to Croatia Miodrag Jovic (48) from Glina, after whom Interpol Zagreb issued an arrest warrant.

Croatian minister attends CoMoCoSEE conference in Albania

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek participated in a third conference of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (CoMoCoSEE) that took place in Tirana on February 21-22.

New Somali president asks al-Shabaab to surrender to 'help' country

Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to surrender in order "to help rebuild" the conflict-ridden East African nation.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.