Three Italians injured in Brussels terror attacks

Three Italians were among over 100 people injured in a blast at Maelbeek metro station in Brussels, close to the European Union headquarters, on Tuesday morning, according to information from the Italian embassy in the Belgian capital.

Three Italians injured in Brussels terror attacks
Emergency staff arrive in the Wetstraat-Rue de la Loi, which was evacuated after a blast at the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels. Photo: Laurie Deiffembacq/Belga/AFP

But they are not on the list of seriously injured people, the embassy said.

Brussels transport authority, La Stib, confirmed that at least 20 people died in the blast at the metro station and over 100 were injured.

The country's health minister said 14 had been killed in the earlier attacks at the city’s international airport, and over 80 injured.

The Isis extremist group has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks.

As security was heightened at Italy’s airports and other potential targets, the Foreign Ministry urged Italians in Brussels to “avoid going anywhere at the moment”.

A national security meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, took place on Tuesday afternoon.

Renzi said after the meeting that the attacks “came from within”.

“It is time to say without mincing our words: the attackers came from within the places that were hit – the threat is global but the killers were also local killers,” he was quoted by Ansa as saying. 

Meanwhile, Rome Commissioner and interim mayor, Francesco Paolo Tronca, has announced that a memorial ceremony will be held for the victims of the attacks at Piazza di Campidoglio at 6.55pm.

Palazzo Senatorio, Rome’s city hall, and the Trevi Fountain will also be lit up in the colours of the Belgian flag between 7pm and 11pm. 


Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.