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A victim receives first aid by rescuers, on March 22, 2016 near Maalbeek metro station in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

SEE: Terror strikes #Brussels, but can

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A picture taken on March 22, 2016 shows smoke rising from the Maalbeek underground, in Brussels, following a blast at the station close to the capital's European quarter. The Brussels metro service was being shut down on 22 March, its operator said. Photo: Seppe Knapem/Belga/AFP

SEE: Terror strikes #Brussels, but can

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Passengers who were evacuated from the airport wait in Zaventem, on 22 March, 2016, after a string of explosions rocked Brussels airport of Zaventem and a city metro station, killing at least 13 people, according to media reports, as Belgium raised its terror threat to the maximum level. Photo: Seppe Knapem/Belga/AFP

SEE: Terror strikes #Brussels, but can

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A victim receives first aid by rescuers, on March 22, 2016 near Maalbeek metro station in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

SEE: Terror strikes #Brussels, but can

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People are evacuated from Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, on 22 March, 2016. after at least 13 people have been killed by two explosions in the departure hall of Brussels Airport. Photo: Virginie Lefour/Belga/AFP

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Policemen and soldier stand guard at the entrance of a security perimeter set near Maalbeek metro station, on 22 March, 2016 in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

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Passengers gather, on March 22, 2016 near Brussels airport in Zaventem, following its evacuation after at least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal of Brussels airport. Photo: John Thys/AFP

SEE: Terror strikes #Brussels, but can

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A victim receives first aid by rescuers, on March 22, 2016 near Maalbeek metro station in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

SEE: Terror strikes #Brussels, but can

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A security perimeter has been set, on March 22, 2016 near Maalbeek metro station in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

SEE: Terror strikes #Brussels, but can

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File photo

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Brussels: Explosions at Brussels airport in Belgium Tuesday. Photo: PTI

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Brussels: An ijured is helped after explosions at the airport in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday. Photo: PTI

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Brussels: People walk away from Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday. Photo: PTI

BRUSSELS ATTACK

SEE: Terror strikes #Brussels, but can't cow it down

Catch Team @catchnews

At first when you look at the pictures above, their gravity may not sink in: their subjects may be just another harried lot of passengers whose flights might have been delayed. As you browse, you would notice the emotion better: it's not grouse, but gloom. And terror.

Grey smoke, smudged blood, wounded people... the aftermath of Tuesday's bomb blasts at the airport in Brussels - the city that is a badge of the European identity, a civilisational marker.

And that comes within days of the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, who was allegedly instrumental in organising the terror attacks in Paris, another city that is identified closely with the western civilisation. A creed whose proponents like to believe they are a progressive, liberal lot.

In fact, that's how the Belgian Prime Minister summed it up: "Liberty has been struck at its heart, as it was in Paris recently, and was in London and Madrid in the recent past," said Charles Michel.

Liberty, indeed, faces challenge. And liberalism is on shaky grounds; as shaky as some camera angles in the pix. Soon after the blasts the social media started throwing up messages blotted with wide generalisation on religious and racial lines.

If terror is the prime goal of terrorism, an important secondary goal must be hatred. On Tuesday, terrorists succeeded on both counts. As they did in Paris, London and Madrid.

But then they also failed. As the pictures show, not everybody was terrorised. Many stood up, shook it off and started helping others do the same. And there were countless across the world who refused to be drawn into the vortex of 'us vs them', and who stoically stood tall.

As long as they are around, hard luck terrorism.

Photos curated by Kaushik Ramaswamy

Edited by Joyjeet Das

Catch Team

Catch Team @catchnews