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Belgium Launches Terrorist Attacks Warning System | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Soldiers stand guard in front of the central train station in Brussels. AFP file photo

Brussels- The Belgian government has revealed that it would start implementing a warning system that communicates information on terrorist attacks to mobile devices via text or voice messages.

Belgium’s Interior Minister Jan Jambon said on Twitter that the government wants to alert citizens on terrorist attacks or big fires that occur in different regions.

He asked citizens to register their mobile phone numbers on a special official website so that they receive warnings.

In March last year, three coordinated suicide bombings occurred in Belgium- two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one at Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels.

The attacks left 32 people dead and 300 others injured.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that any possible decision by the organization to join the anti-ISIS coalition would “not change” its role.

His remarks came during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Markel in Brussels and in response to a reporter’s question on a US wish for NATO to become an official member of the coalition.

“NATO should be much more engaged in, training, capacity building and not so much focused on big military combat operations beyond our borders,” he said.

“I think that one lesson we have learned from Afghanistan but also actually from Iraq is that in the long run the only viable solution is to enable local governments, local forces to stabilize their own country and to fight terrorism themselves,” Stoltenberg said.

As for Merkel, she said: “We are right now engaged in talks about the extent to which NATO can contribute in an official manner to the efforts of the coalition.”

“Talks are ongoing … and I encourage the Secretary General to continue these talks and to perhaps to conclude them” by May 25, when NATO leaders are scheduled to hold the organization’s next summit.

US President Donald Trump has criticized Germany for not spending more on its own defense, and the issue could figure prominently at the upcoming summit.