Salah Abdeslam - osumnjičeni za napad u parizu.jpg
Photograph: EPA/FRENCH MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR

Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks who had been on the run since last year, has been arrested, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders confirmed Friday.

"Prosecutors have confirmed the arrest of Salah Abdeslam. Congratulations to the different security services," Reynders wrote on Twitter.

"We've got him," State Secretary Theo Francken also tweeted.

Abdeslam is believed to have joined his brother and other extremists in targeting the Stade de France stadium, the Bataclan concert hall, restaurants and bars during the November attacks in the French capital, which left 130 people dead and hundreds injured.

The police operation that reportedly led to the arrest of Abdeslam and another person was still ongoing. A third suspect is still being sought, the broadcaster RTBF reported.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and French President Francois Hollande, who happened to be in Brussels for an EU summit, are expected to jointly address the press on Friday evening. Belgian federal prosecutors also scheduled a press conference for 8:30 pm (1930 GMT).

Abdeslam was arrested during a police raid in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, where he used to live before the Paris attacks. The broadcaster RTBF reported that the 26-year-old sustained a leg injury during the operation.

The raid followed news that Abdeslam's fingerprints had been found in a Brussels apartment where a shootout with police had occurred on Tuesday. According to some Belgian media reports, that finding led police to carry out the raid in Molenbeek.

Gunmen had opened fire on police on Tuesday as they attempted to search the apartment in the southern Brussels neighbourhood of Forest.

A 35-year-old Algerian armed with a Kalashnikov rifle was killed during the incident, while two suspects managed to escape.

Investigators then determined that the dead suspect, Mohamed Belkaid, had previously been sought in connection with the Paris terrorist attacks. Belkaid was "most probably" the person using the false identity of Samir Bouzid, who had ties to Abdeslam, prosecutors said.

Bouzid was one of two men whom Belgian police were seeking because they had travelled with Abdeslam to Hungary last September. The two men had used fake Belgian identity cards. Other activities linked to the Paris attacks had also been carried out in these names.

Latest news

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Montenegrin police extradites Miodrag Jovic to Croatia

Montenegrin police reported on Wednesday that they extradited to Croatia Miodrag Jovic (48) from Glina, after whom Interpol Zagreb issued an arrest warrant.

Croatian minister attends CoMoCoSEE conference in Albania

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek participated in a third conference of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (CoMoCoSEE) that took place in Tirana on February 21-22.

New Somali president asks al-Shabaab to surrender to 'help' country

Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to surrender in order "to help rebuild" the conflict-ridden East African nation.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.