The people affected by Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels were not all Belgian or even all European: visitors to the Belgian capital Monday included 16 journalism students participating in a study abroad internship program through the University of Missouri-Columbia.
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Although none of the students were injured, the effects of the deadly attacks have been far-reaching: city transportation is shut down, the Islamic State group has taken credit for the carnage and leaders across the world are stepping forward to express their solidarity with Brussels.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and wounded, and all the people of Belgium. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 22, 2016
Janie Booth, a journalism major who is currently interning at EU Reporter, said that even though she lives and works more than 30 minutes from the attacks, everyone in Brussels is feeling the aftershock of the explosions.
"It's intense," she said in a Skype interview with 41 Action News. "I mean, last semester I was at Mizzou during all of the protests for Concerned Student 1950, and I thought that was a big story. Being in Brussels during a terrorist attack — it's crazy."
Booth said her corner of the city is continuing as though it is business-as-usual, but she continues to check the news for minute-to-minute updates on the situation.
"I talked to my parents this morning," said Booth. "They basically just said to stay inside, try to lay low, really not go anywhere there may be targets."
Getting anywhere at all may be a challenge for Brussels residents over the next few days.
The Belgian government has announced a temporary shutdown of the Brussels metro system, one of the city's primary methods of public transportation.
For now, though, what matters is that Booth, her fellow students and MU Brussels program director Gareth Harding are safe.
Belgian and EU officials have said they will continue to investigate the events leading up to the attacks and work to improve their security strategies.
— EP President (@EP_President) March 22, 2016