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French LDS mission president releases statement on missionaries in Brussels

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 20:11:44-04

BRUSSELS, Belgium — French Mission President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday.

“We’ve been through some tragic events today,” said President Frederic J. Babin, in a YouTube video Tuesday.

Explosions struck the international airport and a metro station in Brussels. At least 20 people were killed at the Maelbeek metro station and at least 10 more at the airport. ISIS claimed responsibility, according to a CNN report.

Three Utah missionaries and one French sister missionary were injured during the attacks. Babin said they are doing OK.

“We’d like to thank those who’ve been by their side in helping them feel better,” he said in the video.

The Utah missionaries injured were Elder Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi; Elder Joseph Empey, 20, of Santa Clara; and Elder Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy.

The missionaries were taking 20-year-old Sister Fanny Rachel Clain of Montélimar, France to the airport, according to a statement from the LDS Church. Clain had been serving in that mission while awaiting a permanent visa for the United States.

Clain was also hospitalized with minor injuries.

Babin said missionaries in the area have been asked to stay in their apartments for their safety. After the attacks in Paris last November, Babin said, church leaders had been working on safety rules for missionaries.

ISIS claimed responsibility for explosions in Paris that left 130 people dead.

“Now all the missionaries are still working and doing what they’re supposed to do and that’s what they’re going to do for the rest of their mission, which is to preach the gospel,” he said.

Watch the full statement in the video above.