Brussels police carry out 13 new raids in one day as bomb attack investigations continue

Adam Withnall
Sunday 27 March 2016 11:16 BST
A suspect is shot and wounded by Belgian police in Schaerbeek following Tuesday’s bombings
A suspect is shot and wounded by Belgian police in Schaerbeek following Tuesday’s bombings (Reuters)

Belgian police have carried out 13 new raids across Brussels as part of a major crackdown in the wake of the terror attacks last week, prosecutors said.

The raids took place in various districts and led to nine arrests, with suspects questioned "in the context of terrorism", a statement read.

Five were later released, the federal prosecutor's office said, with no further details provided.

Earlier, Belgian police charged a second suspect with involvement in a terrorist group as part of the investigation into a foiled attack on Paris.

The man charged was identified as A Abderrahmane, who was shot and arrested during a raid in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek on Friday.

Prosecutors said on Saturday that Abderrahmane would be detained for a further 24 hours, and the Belgian press agency Belga said on Sunday he has now been charged.

It reported that he was charged in connection with a related raid in France this week, which authorities have previously said foiled an apparent attack.

Meanwhile, the Belgian interior minister admitted that errors were made in the run-up to the Brussels attacks that killed at least 31 people and wounded 270 others on Tuesday.

Jan Jambon said the Belgian government had invested €600 million (£470 million) into police and security services over the past two years but acknowledged neglect over decades had hampered an effective response to violent extremism.

Speaking on Sunday, he said investments in security would take time to yield results and that hiring anti-terror specialists and specialised equipment could not happen in weeks or months.

Mr Jambon says "it is also not because you put the money in now, that tomorrow all this is visible on the ground."

On Saturday, an Algerian man wanted by Belgium in connection with the terror attacks in Brussels was arrested in Italy.

Djamal Eddine Ouali, 40, was arrested in the southern region of Salerno, according to local media reports.

Mr Ouali was detained under a European arrest warrent in connection with a probe into fake ID documents used by the attackers behind the Paris and Brussels attacks, France 24 reported.

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