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Paris terror mastermind, four others arrested in Belgium

Two explosions heard in Brussels after Salah Abdeslam captured following manhunt, gunfight with police

Police officers stand guard during a raid in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, Belgium, on March 18, 2016. (AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
Police officers stand guard during a raid in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, Belgium, on March 18, 2016. (AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Police arrested five people, including key Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and three who sheltered the fugitive, in a raid in Brussels on Friday, 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.

Earlier Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told the press authorities arrested three suspects, including Abdeslam, following a gunfight in Brussels.

French President Francois Hollande said he expects Abdeslam’s extradition “as quickly as possible.”

Salah Abdeslam, Paris terror suspect, who was captured in Brussels on March 19, 2016. (Belgian Federal Police via AP)
Salah Abdeslam, Paris terror suspect, who was captured in Brussels on March 19, 2016. (Belgian Federal Police via AP)

Two explosions were heard in a Brussels neighborhood where a Paris attacks fugitive was captured.

The deputy mayor of the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek earlier told The Associated Press police were still searching for one person who is holed up in a house.

French television showed images of police dragging a man with a white hooded sweatshirt into an unmarked police car.

Earlier in the day, police captured Abdeslam, who has been on the run for four months since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

https://twitter.com/OnlineMagazin/status/710894199412015104

Molenbeek has issued an emergency plan to give shelter to people who cannot go home because of police operations.

Officials took to Twitter to mark the capture of Abdeslam in Brussels.

Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition, tweeted, “Congratulations to Belgium authorities on capture of ISIL terrorist Saleh Abdeslam. We will never forget his and all ISIL victims.”

In Belgium, migration state secretary Theo Francken tweeted, “We have him.”

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