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Belgian police arrest 3 in Paris terror attacks investigations

Virginie Lefour / Belga / AFP | Police stand outside the council chamber in Brussels on April 7, 2016 during the court appearance of Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect of the November 13 Paris attacks

Belgian police arrested three people in a Brussels suburb on Tuesday during a new raid linked to the investigation into the November terror attacks on Paris, federal prosecutors said.

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"Three people were arrested and held for questioning," a statement said, adding the raid took place in the Belgian capital's southern suburb of Uccle.

It said the raid was carried out "in the context of the investigation that the federal prosecutor opened following the attacks in Paris on November 13" which left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.

The investigating judge will decide Wednesday whether to continue holding the three, it said, without giving any further details.

The prosecutor's office announced earlier that Belgium had charged two new suspects over the March 22 Brussels airport and metro bombings that left 32 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Paris-Brussels links

Investigators have uncovered extensive links between the Paris and Brussels attacks, both of which were claimed by the Islamic State group.

The DNA of Brussels airport suicide bomber Najim Laachraoui was, for example, found on a suicide vest recovered at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris where 90 people died on November 13.

On Friday, police netted another key Paris suspect, Mohamed Abrini, dubbed "the man in the hat" after he was seen in CCTV footage at Brussels airport shortly before the two bombers struck there.

Belgium’s prosecutor’s office said on Sunday that the Brussels attackers had originally planned another assault in France but the arrest of Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam on March 18, coupled with a massive series of police raids, made them change plans and target Belgium instead.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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