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Belgium arrests three Paris attacks suspects in new raid

A photo taken April 8, 2016 shows police vans at the Square Albert I in Brussels during search after Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini and several other suspects linked to both the Paris and Brussels attacks was arrested.
Nicolas Maeterlinck (Belga/AFP/File)
Investigators have found extensive links between the Brussels and November Paris attacks

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

"Three people were arrested and held for questioning," a statement said, adding the raid took place in the southern Brussels 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 continuing 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.

Thierry Charlier (AFP/File)

At the weekend, the authorities said they believed the Brussels cell originally planned to stage another attack in France but the arrest of key Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam on March 18, followed by a massive of police raids, caused them to switch and target Belgium.

A statement said Smail F. and Ibrahim F. were "charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempts to commit terrorist murders."

The prosecutor said there were "indications" the two men could be linked at an address in the Avenue des Casernes in the Etterbeek district of Brussels which was raided last week.

At the time, police said they found nothing at the address but reports later suggested that two men, one of whom later blew himself up in the Maalbeek metro station, may have stayed there or used it.

The second man, later identified by the authorities as Oasama K., was apparently also carrying a bomb but for reasons unknown did not go through with the attack.

Three suicide bombers -- two at the airport and one at the metro station in central Brussels -- killed 32 people in Belgium's worst terror attack which claimed by the Islamic State group.

Read more:

- Analysis: Three steps Europe must take after Brussels

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