Belgium arrests five in Paris attacks probe

2015-12-21 22:42
(Geert van den Wijngaert, AP)

(Geert van den Wijngaert, AP)

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Brussels - Belgian police have arrested a total of five people including two brothers during a series of arrests in connection with last month's Paris attacks, prosecutors said on Monday.

Police arrested the two brothers and a third person in a raid on a house near the main tourist district in central Brussels on Sunday, the federal prosecutors office said in a statement.

"A thorough analysis of phone records was the basis for this house search," the prosecutors' statement said, adding that the third person was a "friend of the two brothers".

Two other men were arrested during a house search on Monday in Laeken, a northern suburb of Brussels near the royal family's residence and the Atomium tourist attraction, the prosecutors said.

No explosives or weapons were found in either search, the statement said. None of the people arrested has been identified.

Belgian police are still actively looking for Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam, 26, suspected of having played a key role in the Paris attacks and understood to have returned to the Belgian capital the day after the bloodshed.

A source close to the Belgian investigation told AFP on Sunday that Abdeslam made it past three police checks when friends drove him from Paris to Brussels in the hours after the coordinated gun and suicide bombings which left 130 people dead.

Several people have since been charged with helping him on his return to Brussels.

Read more on:    belgium  |  france  |  paris under attack

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