Belgian authorities asked Monday for the public's help in finding a man who is believed to be an associate of Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam and who, according to a media report, may have helped make suicide bombs used in the French capital.

The 24-year-old Belgian man, identified as Najim Laachraoui, was known to have left for Syria in February 2013. But traces of his DNA were found in a house and an apartment in Belgium that are thought to have been used by the Paris terrorists before their attacks.

He has also been identified as the man who used a fake Belgian identity card in the name of Soufiane Kayal when he was controlled in Hungary in September together with Abdeslam, Belgian prosecutors said in a statement on Monday.

Laachraoui is being "actively sought," they added.

His DNA has been found on at least two suicide belts that were used last November in the attacks on the Stade de France football stadium and the Bataclan concert hall, the broadcaster RTBF reported.

The Paris attacks, which also targeted restaurants and cafes, left 130 people dead and hundreds injured. Laachraoui may have made some of the suicide belts used, RTBF said.

Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw refused to comment further on Laachraoui during a press conference with visiting French prosecutor Francois Molins on Monday afternoon.

Molins used the opportunity to call for Abdeslam to be handed over to France, after his arrest in Belgium on Friday.

"You know as I do that the French investigating judges have issued an arrest warrant [for Abdeslam]," Molins told journalists in Brussels. "It is now up to the Belgian justice system, and it alone, to decide on this question."

But he recalled that there is "a high expectation from the French justice system, and especially from the victims, to be able to obtain that Salah Abdeslam explains himself before French judges."

French President Francois Hollande met on Monday afternoon with survivors and victims' families at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Representatives from associations of victims' families also attended the meeting after having criticized France's anti-terrorism policies.

Molins said it could take as much as three months for Abdeslam, 26, to be handed over to France.

The French prosecutor has said that Abdeslam intended to carry out a suicide bombing at the Stade de France stadium during the Paris attacks, but then backed out.

Abdeslam's lawyer has said that he plans to take legal action against the French prosecution service for breach of confidentiality. Molins, however, brushed aside the suggestion, saying that he was "serene" about the matter.

Van Leeuw said Belgian authorities are still waiting to see if Abdeslam will cooperate with their investigation. He was interviewed several times on Saturday, but was not "in good shape" after being injured during his arrest, the Belgian prosecutor said.

When asked about Abdeslam's appearance, Van Leeuw said he would not have recognized him.

It is still unclear where Abdeslam was in the time between the Paris attacks and his arrest, the prosecutor said. Abdeslam was arrested in the same Brussels neighbourhood where he had previously lived.

His arrest came three days after another man sought in connection with the Paris attacks was killed in a shootout with police at an apartment in the southern Brussels neighbourhood of Forest.

Weapons and Abdeslam's fingerprints were found in that flat, prosecutors have said. RTBF reported on Monday that detonators were also recovered.

Van Leeuw said investigators may never know exactly what was planned, but added: "To find foreign fighters with weapons in a house, I don't think that was to have a picnic."

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said on Sunday that Abdeslam was "ready to restart something in Brussels," without giving further details.

In Paris, meanwhile, the Belle Equipe restaurant reopened its doors on Monday, four months after having been targeted during the November attacks, the BFMTV broadcaster reported. Nine people were shot dead while sitting outside the restaurant.

The Bataclan concert hall remains closed, but is expected to reopen by the end of the year following a renovation.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.