By Debbie Gregory.
A U.S. official has confirmed that one, and possibly two Americans killed in the terrorist attacks in Brussels were the spouses of U.S. personnel. While their names have not yet been released, it has been confirmed that one of the victims was the wife of an Air Force lieutenant, and that the lieutenant and other family members were injured..
Due to privacy concerns, U.S. European Command would not release details of the service member’s injuries or the number of family members involved. But U.S. officials have confirmed the officer was a lieutenant colonel.
European Command is continuing to confirm the safety of U.S. military personnel and families in the region, including those who may be there on vacation or official travel.
The injuries bring the total to at least four Americans who were hurt in the explosions that ripped through the Brussels Airport and a metro station Tuesday. Mormon Church officials said three missionaries from Utah were seriously injured in the airport attack and have been hospitalized.
Secretary of State John Kerry vowed that the U.S. will “provide any assistance necessary” to Belgium in their shared fight against terrorism.
“We will not be intimidated, we will not be deterred, and we will come back with greater resolve, with greater strength,” Kerry said. “And we will not rest until we have eliminated your nihilistic beliefs and cowardice from the face of this Earth.”
The Islamic State terror group has claimed credit for the attacks, which were carried out by as many as five bombers, three of which are believed to have died and two who are being sought. Authorities believe the bombers used suitcases packed with explosives and nails, producing blasts so devastating that identifying bodies has been difficult, and sending deadly shrapnel hurtling through the airport terminal and metro station.