October 21, 2016

Brussels police hunt fleeing gunman in Paris probe

Police at the scene where shots were fired during a police search of a house in the suburb of Forest near Brussels, Belgium, March 15, 2016.

Armed Belgian police locked down a section of Brussels on Tuesday as they hunted a fleeing gunman who wounded an officer during a raid linked to the investigation of November’s Islamist attacks in Paris.

Police told residents to stay indoors and a primary school close to the scene of the shooting was in lockdown, residents said. Local media said that a second officer was also wounded and that there was possibly more than one fugitive.

“This operation is connected to the Paris attacks,” a spokesman for Belgium’s federal prosecutor told Reuters.

The area around the raid, near the main north-south railway linking Paris and Amsterdam, and an Audi car factory, was sealed off, Reuters journalists at the scene said. A helicopter flew overhead and police commandos were deployed.

Belgian security forces are still hunting suspects and associates of Brussels-based Islamic State militants involved in the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 in which 130 people were killed.

One of the prime suspects connected to the Paris attacks, 26-year-old Frenchman Salah Abdeslam from Brussels, is still on the run. He left Paris shortly after his brother blew himself up in the attacks. Belgian authorities are holding 10 people who have arrested in the months since the attacks.

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