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france 24 Europe

Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam arrested in Brussels raid

© John Thys, AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-03-18

The most-wanted fugitive from November’s Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was wounded and arrested following a shootout in Brussels on Friday.

  • Belgian police detained five people in total following Friday's raids. They include "Mounir Ahmed Al Hadj", AKA Amine Choukri, who is also linked to the Paris attacks, and three members of the family that allowed Abdeslam and Choukri to stay in their apartment.
  • French President François Hollande has confirmed that 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam had been arrested. 
  • Earlier, French police said Abdeslam was wounded in the leg before being arrested.
  • Hollande said that French prosecutors would make a formal request for Abdeslam's extradition to France, adding that there were "many more people" in the Paris attacks cell than previously thought. 
  • Several exchanges of gunfire rang out in the city's Molenbeek area on Friday afternoon – the scene of past investigations – and police officers were seen surrounding an apartment block there on Friday afternoon. Television footage showed masked, black-clad security forces guarding a street in the capital and reporters at the scene described white smoke rising from a rooftop.
  • Earlier, Belgian prosecutors said fingerprints belonging to Abdeslam were found at the scene of a shootout in the city on Tuesday.
  • Investigators believe much of the planning and preparation for the November bombing and shooting rampage in Paris was conducted in Brussels by young French and Belgian nationals, some of whom fought in Syria for the Islamic State group.

See below for FRANCE 24’s coverage of the day's events. Click here if you are reading this on a mobile phone or tablet.
 

 

Date created : 2016-03-18

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