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VOL 23 NO 59 REGD NO DA 1589 | Dhaka, Saturday, January 9 2016
Posted : 09 Jan, 2016 12:57:18 AA-A+
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Belgium claims to have found Paris attacks bomb factory
Belgium claims to have found Paris attacks bomb factory

Belgian investigators believe explosives used in the attacks in Paris in November may have been made in an apartment in Brussels that was rented under a false name and where a fingerprint of a key fugitive was found.


Police found material that could be used to make explosives, traces of explosive acetone peroxide and handmade belts during a raid on the apartment on December 10, federal prosecutors said in a statement on Friday.


Belgian newspaper De Standaard, which reported the raid in its Friday edition, said the investigators believed the explosives were probably packed into suicide belts in a hotel outside Paris in the lead-up to the November 13 attacks.


Prosecutors investigating Belgian links to the Paris attacks said the apartment in the district of Schaerbeek had been rented under a false name that might have been used by a person already in custody in connection with the Paris attacks.


The find adds to indications that the November 13 shooting and suicide bomb attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed, were at least partially planned in Belgium.


Two of the attackers had been living in Brussels and Belgian authorities have arrested 10 people.


Investigators also found a fingerprint of Salah Abdeslam, the brother of one of the attackers, who returned from Paris the morning after the attacks and has still not been found.


According to De Standaard, investigators believe the fingerprint indicates Abdeslam used the flat as a safe house after the attacks, given signs that the apartment had been partially cleaned up, although they do not know how long he stayed there.


Belgian media also said this week investigators also now believe that two men controlled the November 13 attacks by sending SMS text messages from Belgium during the evening.


Separately, federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw warned in an interview on broadcaster VTM late on Thursday that the January 15 anniversary of a foiled attack on Belgian soil could prompt someone to launch an attack in the country.


"We know that they opt for symbolic dates although on the other hand no one knows why Charlie Hebdo took place on January 7," he said, according to Reuters. -abdullah
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