John Kerry in Brussels offers support after attacks

Brussels: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Brussels on Friday to offer Washington`s support to a stricken Belgium after attacks claimed by the Islamic State group left 31 dead and 300 wounded.

“Arrived in Belgium to offer our heartfelt condolences. #BrusselsAttacks underscore need to counter violent extremism & end scourge of Daesh,” Kerry said in a tweeted message, using another term for IS.

Kerry came to Brussels from Moscow where he had held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on pushing forward a ceasefire in Syria where IS has seized huge swathes of territory and where many of its European jihadist recruits have been trained and become battle-hardened.

Kerry is due to meet Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, as well as the country`s King Philippe, as the country tries to come to terms with the attacks amid accusations that authorities could have done more or even prevented them but for intelligence failures.

In his first engagement, Kerry met European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker after EU member states pledged Thursday they would step up security cooperation so as to better fight IS jihadists.