Belgium police arrest 21, Paris fugitive still at large
Belgium police arrest 21, Paris fugitive still at large

Belgium police arrest 21, Paris fugitive still at large: Report

Belgian police arrested five more people searching for those behind the 13 November attacks in Paris, bringing the total arrested since last night to 21.

The government said last night that fugitive Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam was not among those detained in raids last night but it is not known if he has been captured in the latest raids.

At a news conference soon after midnight, officials said a total of 19 houses were searched in the city – and during the operations, police fired two shots at a vehicle in Molenbeek.

One of those arrested was injured when his car tried to ram into police during an attempted getaway.

Eric Van der Sypt, a Belgian federal prosecutor, said no firearms or explosives were discovered.

The Belgian prosecutor’s office has since said that the five extra detainees were taken into custody during five raids in Brussels and two in Liege.

Earlier there were reports that Abdeslam was in a BMW heading towards the German border but authorities have now said the car was not linked to the ongoing operation.

With an alleged terrorist still at large, schools, universities and the Metro transport system in Brussels are remaining closed on Monday – after the Belgian Prime Minister expressed fears that individuals could “launch several attacks at the same time in multiple locations”.

Brussels remains on the highest terror threat level, which indicates that an attack is “imminent” – while the rest of the country is on the second-highest level, to reflect an incident is “probable”.

The army and police presence has been boosted in the capital to protect targets such as shops and public transport.

Belgium has been at the centre of investigations into the Paris attacks after it emerged that two of the suicide bombers lived in the poor district of Molenbeek.

French police have issued a photograph of the third man involved in the suicide blasts at the Stade de France – with officials admitting they do not know who he is.

A police source fears that Abdeslam, who is said to have travelled from Paris to Belgium shortly after the French massacre of 130 people, could be “trapped and desperate” in Brussels.


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