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Belgium Releases 3 Detainees in Terror Investigation

  • VOA News

FILE - A Belgian special forces police officer stands guard outside a courthouse as Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdelslam remains in police custody, in Brussels, Belgium, April 7, 2016.

FILE - A Belgian special forces police officer stands guard outside a courthouse as Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdelslam remains in police custody, in Brussels, Belgium, April 7, 2016.

Belgian prosecutors say they have released three people detained Tuesday in the investigation of the November 13 Paris attacks in which 130 people died.

The Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday that none of the people were charged. They were taken into custody on Tuesday during a police search in the Brussels district of Uccle, as Belgian authorities try to track down both the perpetrators of the Paris attacks and the attacks on the Brussels airport and subway March 22, which left 32 people dead.

On Tuesday, two other men, identified as Smail F. and Ibrahim F., were charged with terrorist activities and murders in connection with last month’s Brussels bombings, Belgian federal prosecutors announced. Local media said the two are brothers.

Belgian authorities have faced sharp criticism over intelligence and security lapses linked to both the Brussels and Paris attacks, including the four months it took to capture top Paris terrorist suspect Salah Abdeslam.

Belgian police have made a series of arrests before and after the Brussels attacks, sometimes working alongside their French counterparts. Abdeslam was nabbed near his childhood home in Molenbeek days before the bombings at the Brussels airport and metro station. He is now being detained at a high-security prison in the town of Bruges.

Police have also arrested Mohamed Abrini, the alleged “man in the hat,” who was captured on CCTV footage alongside the two Brussels airport bombers shortly before their suicide attacks.

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