Belgium arrests 11th man in Paris attack probe, releases another

An 11th person has been arrested in Belgium on terrorism charges in connection with the deadly November attacks in Paris, prosecutors said Friday while also announcing the release of a previous suspect.

The new arrest, identified only as Zakaria J, is believed to have been an acquaintance of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian who is suspected of masterminding the Paris attacks, the Belga news agency reported. Abaaoud was later killed in a French police raid.

Zakaria J, also a Belgian national who was born in 1986, has been charged with playing a role in terrorist murders and participating in the activities of a terrorist organization, prosecutors said in a statement.

He had been taken into custody on Wednesday following police searches in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, where several of the Paris attackers had links.

Prosecutors also announced on Friday that a court has ordered the release of Ayoub B, the 10th suspect arrested as part of the Paris investigation.

The 22-year-old had been charged with playing a role in terrorist murders and participation in the activities of a terrorist group. But the prosecutors said there "are no longer sufficient indications of guilt against him."

Belga reported that prosecutors have requested the first charge against him to be dropped.

The November 13 attacks left 130 people dead. They featured a wave of shootings and bombings targeting a concert hall, the national stadium and a string of bars and restaurants in central Paris. Seven attackers died in the violence.

Last update: Fri, 22/01/2016 - 16:43

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