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Paris attacks: Belgian police detain one in latest Molenbeek search

Thierry Roge, Belga, AFP | Police officers conduct new searches linked to Paris terrorist attacks in Molenbeek, Brussels, on December 30, 2015.

Belgian police detained a person for questioning on Wednesday following a new search in the troubled Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek in connection with the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, prosecutors said.


The person, who was not identified, is expected to appear on Thursday before a judge who will decide whether to keep him or her in custody, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office told AFP.

Belgian media said the search took place in Rue Delaunoy in Molenbeek, the district which is home to Paris attacks fugitive Salah Abdeslam and which has served as a haven for jihadists in the past.

On November 16, three days after the Paris attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds of others, Belgian security forces carried out a raid at 47 Rue Delaunoy aimed at arresting Abdeslam.

Belgian public broadcaster RTBF said at the time that investigators had "detected signs during the raid that he had been there," speculating that accomplices had smuggled him out of the neighbourhood.

Leading recruitment centre

The Belgian authorities have detained a total of nine men in the case including four accused of helping Abdeslam escape Paris in the hours after the massacre.

Belgium has been one of Europe's leading recruiting grounds for foreign jihadi fighters, and was home to four of the Nov. 13 attackers in Paris, including the suspected coordinator Abdelhamid Abaaoud

The Paris attacks, claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, and their perpetrators’ links with Belgium have shocked the country and sparked a sharp increase in visible security.

Armed police and soldiers now patrol the streets in Brussels, Europe's diplomatic hub and home to the European Union, NATO and a host of major companies.

The Paris terrorist attacks stoked fears the city was fertile ground for Islamist extremists, who have in some cases gone to fight in Syria and returned home battle-hardened and even more determined.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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