Belgium is pausing to remember the victims of the twin attacks at Brussels' international airport and on a commuter train in the capital a year ago on Wednesday.

A memorial ceremony is being held at the Brussels' international airport in Zaventem.
A memorial ceremony is being held at the Brussels' international airport in Zaventem.

Belgian leaders, victims, families and friends of those who died in the March 22 suicide bomb attacks on the Brussels airport and a metro station marked the first anniversary of the assaults on Wednesday.

Thirty two people lost their lives and over 300 were injured in the March 2016 attacks claimed by Daesh.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde joined Prime Minister Charles Michel outside the departure hall of Zaventem airport to mark the exact time when two suicide bombers killed 16 people and wounded many more.

TRT World's Jack Parrock reports from Brussels.

"Will forever be in our hearts"

During the ceremony an airport official read out the names of the victims. "March 22 2016, will forever be in our hearts...we stand here united," he said.

A second minute of silence was held at 9:11 am at Maalbeek subway station to mark the moment a third suicide bomber killed another 16 people on a crowded train.

In an act of defiance and solidarity, the event at Maalbeek was due to be followed by applause and a "minute of noise" as trains, trams and buses come to a halt in memory of the victims.

The king and queen will inaugurate a steel memorial to the victims of the attack in a city that is home to key European Union institutions.

A year on, Belgium remains on high alert with troops patrolling the streets and warnings of fresh risks from Daesh militants returning home from Iraq and Syria.

Show of solidarity

Children from schools in Molenbeek will meet victims of the attacks in a show of solidarity.

Three marches by Brussels residents will then meet at the Place de La Bourse which was transformed into an impromptu, flower-strewn memorial after the attacks last year.

Finally Brussels' most famous landmark, the Manneken Pis statue of a little boy, will be dressed up in a fireman's outfit to hail the efforts of rescue services.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies