November 20, 2015 / 11:10 AM / in 2 years

Belgium still holding two people detained on Thursday

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian authorities continued to hold two of the nine people detained on Thursday in a series of raids in Brussels related to the Paris attacks, federal prosecutors said on Friday.

A sniper and an observer of Belgian police special forces are seen on a balcony of a building on Brussels Grand Place after security was tightened in Belgium following the fatal attacks in Paris on Friday, in Brussels, Belgium, November 20, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Police detained seven people as part of an investigation opened at the start of the year into the departure to Syria of Belgium-based Bilal Hadfi. Hadfi blew himself up near the Stade de France last Friday.

Six were released after questioning, the seventh is being provisionally held for a further 24 hours.

Two more people were detained on Thursday in relation to the attacks and one is still being held, the prosecutors said.

The prosecutors’ office also said in a separate statement that a court had decided to keep two men arrested on Saturday in custody for a another month.

The two, Mohamed Amri, 27, and 21-year-old Hamza Attou, were briefly pulled over with the brother of one of the Paris attackers by French police on a highway near the Belgian border on Saturday morning. Amri and Attou were arrested later that day.

French national Salah Abdeslam, whose brother Brahim blew himself up in the French capital, remains at large and is the subject of an international arrest warrant.

Amri’s lawyer has said that Amri was in Brussels when he received a call from Salah Abdeslam two hours after the attacks on Friday night. Abdeslam told Amri he had broken down in Paris and needed a lift back.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Julia Fioretti and Anna Willard

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