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Belgium Detains 4 People in Brussels Train Station Attack Probe

  • VOA News

Police and forensic officers remove items during a house search in the Molenbeek district of Brussels, June 21, 2017. Belgian authorities said they foiled a terror attack when soldiers shot a suspect in the heart of Brussels after a small explosion at a busy train station Tuesday.

Authorities in Belgium said Thursday police have detained four people in connection with the investigation into the foiled bomb attack at a Brussels train station.

The federal prosecutor’s office said the detentions were part of raids in Brussels, including in the Molenbeek neighborhood. There were no details about how the four people might be linked to the attack.

Prosecutor’s office spokesman Eric Van der Sypt earlier identified the suspect in Tuesday’s attack as a 36-year-old Moroccan native with the initials O.Z. who may have supported the Islamic State militant group.

The suspect had not been previously linked to terrorism, but Van der Sypt said investigators found indications he “had sympathies for the terrorist organization IS.”

Chemicals and other materials that can be used to make explosives were found in his home, where Van der Sypt said the suspect “probably made the bomb.”

The device hidden in a suitcase failed to fully detonate and did not injure anyone.

Soldiers shot the attacker, who died at the site.

Brussels has been on high alert for more than 18 months since Islamic State militants based in the city carried out attacks in Paris that killed 130 people in November 2015. In March of last year, attacks on the Brussels airport and on the city’s metro system killed 32 people.

Two suicide bombers killed 16 people at the Brussels airport and moments later a suicide bomb at Brussels’ Maelbeek subway station killed another 16 on March 22.

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