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Brussels attacks: Suspect's DNA at Paris attack sites

126 Days ago

Brussels, March 26 (IANS) Belgian officials have named the second suicide bomber in Brussels attack at airport as Najim Laachraoui, and said that his DNA was found at sites of Paris attacks.

The news came as three people were arrested in Brussels in connection with Tuesday's attacks that left more than 30 people killed, BBC reported.

Prosecutors said that the arrests were linked to a raid in Paris on Thursday, where an attack was apparently foiled. Other suspects have been arrested in Belgium, Germany and France.

The attacks came days after the arrest of November 13 Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam in Brussels.

Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens said on Friday that Abdeslam, who had initially agreed to co-operate with investigators, had ceased to do so.

"The federal prosecutor has just informed me that Salah Abdeslam no longer wants to talk since the attacks on Zaventem (airport) and the Brussels metro," he said.

Also it emerged that police in Mechelen had failed to pass on vital information in December 2015 to colleagues in Brussels that could have led them to Abdeslam.

Local police chief Yves Bogaerts said that the information was not deliberately withheld.

The Islamic State (IS) has said that it carried out both the Brussels and Paris attacks. Brussels attack left more than 30 people killed while at least 130 people were killed in the Paris attacks.

As clear connections emerged between the militants involved in the two sets of attacks, French President Francois Hollande warned of a threat from other similar networks.

"We have had success in finding the terrorists both in Brussels and in Paris," he said.

"There have been some arrests, and we know there are other networks, because even though the one that carried out the attacks in Paris and Brussels is in the process of being wiped out with a number of its members arrested, there's still a threat looming."

Brahim el-Bakraoui has already been named as one of the perpetrators of the airport attack. A third person remains unidentified.

In the same statement, the prosecutor's office said that three more arrests were made in Brussels on Friday.

Turkey has said it arrested and deported Brahim el-Bakraoui, last June, warning Belgium he was a "foreign fighter" -- but the message was "ignored".

Bakraoui's brother, Khalid, attacked Maelbeek metro station, where at least 20 people were killed. (IANS)

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