Belgian police have arrested five people in counter-terror raids in Brussels, including Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and the family who sheltered him, prosecutors said. “A total of five people were arrested following three raids this afternoon,” Thierry Werts, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, told a press conference yesterday.
Special federal police forces arrested Abdeslam, who has been on the run since the deadly November 13 attacks, wounding him lightly in the leg during an afternoon raid in the capital’s gritty immigrant neighbourhood of Molenbeek. “He was taken to the hospital for treatment,” Werts said. The police also shot and slightly wounded another man at the same address and took him to hospital.
Another three people, all members of the same family who sheltered Abdeslam, were also arrested and will be interviewed by investigators, Werts said. At an earlier joint press conference, French President Francois Hollande and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel reported that Abdeslam and two other people had been arrested in the raids.
Earlier this week, Belgian and French police raided an apartment in the Forest district of Brussels, shooting dead a 35-year-old Algerian identified as Mohamed Belkaid, who was living illegally in Belgium. Werts said police were trying to determine whether Abdeslam and the other man arrested with him were the two who fled the raid in Forest. “It’s a theory,” he added.