18 April 2016

Belgian PM backs minister's comment that some Muslims cheered attacks

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel backed his outspoken interior minister over comments that a significant number of Muslims had cheered the Brussels bombings, and said supporters of terrorism were a cancer that needed removing.

Jan Jambon told Belgian daily De Standaard in a Saturday interview that a significant part of the Muslim community had danced with joy after the attacks that killed 32 people on March 22.

Jambon, part of the Flemish separatist N-VA party, faced criticism from fellow ministers and opposition, some demanding he back up his views with evidence, others that he apologize immediately.

Michel provided backing for his minister late on Sunday, saying the national security council had been told about expressions of support for the Brussels attackers.

"I can confirm that there have been endorsements for the attacks," Michel said in a statement, although this was only from a small minority. [Reuters] Read more