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Paris Attacks Suspect Abdeslam Arrested in Brussels: French Police

19 March 2016 7:23

Police at the scene of a security operation in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek in Brussels, Belgium, March 18, 2016.   REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The main suspect in the terrorist attacks on Paris in November, Salah Abdeslam, was arrested in a raid in Brussels on Friday, French police sources said.

It was not immediately clear if Abdeslam, who has been on the run since the November 13 attacks that killed 130 people, was injured in the raid in Brussels’ Molenbeek district.

One man was injured and another arrested unharmed in the raid in the gritty Molenbeek neighborhood of the Belgian capital, French police sources said, without identifying which was Abdeslam.

The arrest came hours after prosecutors revealed that Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found in an apartment in another part of Brussels earlier this week following a raid in which a suspected ISIL militant was killed.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel held a crisis meeting after the arrest with French President Francois Hollande, who was in Brussels for a European Union summit.

Belgium has been at the center of the investigation into the Paris attacks almost from day one.

Franco-Moroccan Abdeslam fled to Brussels after the attacks and is believed to have holed up in a flat for at least three weeks.

He slipped past three police checks in France as he fled to Belgium just hours after the terror assaults, a source close to the probe said in December.

His brother Brahim, who blew himself up in the massacre, was buried in a discreet ceremony on Thursday in Brussels.

Another of the Paris attackers, Bilal Hadfi, was buried quietly in the same cemetery in the northwest of the city last week.

The ringleader of the attacks, ISIL member Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was also from Brussels. He was killed in a raid in Paris in November.

Both had links to Molenbeek, a largely immigrant district which has been a hotbed of extremist violence for decades.

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