Belgium charges 11th suspect over Paris

Street sign in Molenbeek, BelgiumImage copyright

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The latest to be charged was held in a search in Molenbeek this week

Prosecutors in Belgium have charged another person with terrorist offences over the Paris attacks claimed by the so-called Islamic State group.

The Belgian national called Zakaria J, born in 1986, was detained earlier this week. Another person arrested in December has now been released.

The number now held in Belgian custody facing charges stands at 11.

The 13 November attacks, which killed 130 people, are believed to have been at least partly planned in Belgium.

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A statement by the Belgian prosecutor said Zakaria J was arrested on 20 January during a search at Chaussee de Gand in the Molenbeek district of Brussels.

He has “been placed into custody by the Investigating Judge”, the statement read. “He has been charged with terrorist murders and participation in the activities of a terrorist group.”

A man detained on 30 December, Ayoub Bazarouj, 22, has been released as “there are no longer sufficient indications of guilt against him”.

Many of those detained are charged with helping Salah Abdeslam, a French national born in Brussels who was in Paris on the night of the attacks and is still on the run.

Mr Bazarouj’s lawyer, Yannick De Vlaemynck, said his client “knew of Salah Abdeslam as he lived in the area, but he was not a friend and there are no elements showing that he provided help in any way”.

Moroccan national Mustafa E, also arrested this week in Molenbeek, has now been released too.

Last week, the Belgian authorities said they had identified three residences in the country they believe were used as safe houses in the weeks leading up to Paris attacks.

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