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Paris suspect to appear in court in Brussels

24 March 2016, 16:35

Brussels - The chief suspect in last year's deadly Paris attacks is facing a hearing in Brussels, amid increasing signs that the same Islamic State cell was behind attacks in both cities.

Salah Abdeslam is scheduled to face magistrates on Thursday morning after his arrest last week in the same Brussels neighborhood where he grew up.

France is seeking his extradition to face potential terrorism charges for his involvement in the November 13 attacks on a Paris rock concert, stadium and cafes, which killed 130 people. Several attackers were also killed.

European security officials say one of the suicide bombers who attacked the Brussels airport Tuesday is a suspected bombmaker for the Paris attackers.

A car accompanied by police left the prison in Bruges where Abdeslam has been held on Thursday morning.

Belgian state broadcaster RTBF and France's Le Monde are reporting that a second attacker is suspected of taking part in the bombing this week of a Brussels subway train and may be at large.

The media, citing unnamed sources, said on Thursday the suspect was filmed by surveillance cameras in the Brussels metro on Tuesday carrying a large bag alongside Khalid El Bakraoui, whom prosecutors have identified as a suicide bomber. RTBF said it is not clear whether the second suspect was killed in the attack.

El Bakraoui's brother was identified as one of two suicide bombers who targeted the Brussels airport the same day in attacks that killed at least 31 people and injured more than 200.

Prosecutors did not immediately respond to the reports.

- AP


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