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Belgium launches appeal to find ‘man in hat’ bombing suspect

Belgian Federal Police screengrab | Police want to information on this unidentified man filmed at Brussels Airport

Belgium launched a major public appeal for help in finding the man suspected of leaving a bomb at Brussels Airport in March, saying they needed to find a coat he discarded and to speak to people who saw where he went after the attack.

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Federal prosecutors released new pictures on Thursday of the suspect, dubbed the “man in the hat”, who appeared to arrive at the airport with two suicide bombers and left along with passengers after the first two bombs exploded on March 22.

In a video to accompany their appeal, investigators indicated the route the terror suspect took, out of the airport, through the nearby town of Zaventem and along a main road into the city. His last appearance on security cameras was in the district of Schaerbeek almost an hour after the bombing.

Along the way, he took off his light-coloured coat and was then seen in a light blue shirt with dark patches. He was wearing a dark hat throughout.

Police 'need photos'

“It is especially the coat which interests us,” Belgium prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt told a press conference, asking if anyone might have seen it along the suspect’s route.

"We especially appeal to anyone who might have filmed or think they have photographed the suspect," Van der Sypt added.

Police hope photos and pictures from the public may help determine where exactly the suspect went.

Twin bombs at Brussels Airport and another on the city’s metro killed 32 people, excluding the suspected bombers. A controlled explosion destroyed a third bomb at the airport about six hours after the initial attack.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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