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Brussels attacks: latest updates, March 26

Updates from March 26 about the March 22 Brussels attacks which killed 31 people and injured 300.

Latest headlines

Belgian Crisis Center clarifies number killed and injured

Three men charged with terrorism offences

Italian police arrest man suspected of supplying fake documents

Organizers postpone Brussels “March Against Fear”

Airport will not open before Tuesday, March 29

Prosecutor denies terrorism link to nuclear site employee’s death: report

Belgian prosecutor says 3 arrested are linked to Thursday Paris raid


Latest updates

Belgian Crisis Center clarifies number killed and injured

The Belgian Crisis Center in a Saturday statement clarified that the 31 bodies recovered after the March 22 attacks includes those of the three suicide bombers.

Of the 28 killed, 24 have been identified: 14 people killed in the attack at the airport, and 10 people in the metro. 13 were from Belgium and 11 were from eight other countries.

Around 340 were injured. 101 of these are still being treated in 33 hospital sites. 62 are in intensive care, and 32 in a burn center. The injured are from 19 countries.

Three men charged with terrorism offences

On Saturday, the federal prosecutor said a man named as Faycal C had been charged with participation in a terrorist group, terrorist killings and attempted terrorist killings.

In a statement on Friday, the federal prosecutor named as “Faycal C” as one of three men police had detained near its office on Thursday night.

A search was carried out at Fayçal C’s home. No arms or explosives were found.

Media are naming this person as Fayçal Cheffou, who is thought to be a freelance journalist. In a 2014 YouTube video, Cheffou reports on conditions in a migrant detention center in the Belgian province of Steenokkerzeel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIvxzXyvXkk

Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper quoted police sources as saying it was highly likely Fayçal Cheffou was the ‘third man’ in airport CCTV image. Le Soir and RTBF said the taxi driver who drove the attackers to the airport picked him out of a photo lineup.

Prosecutors have yet confirmed Faycal C as the third airport bomber, RTBF said, adding that they were awaiting the results of DNA analyses.

An unnamed “source close to the inquiry” told AFP that investigators are working on the hypothesis that Fayçal C was the third man in the airport CCTV footage. The source said that Fayçal C’s involvement in the airport attack was not yet confirmed.

A second man known as Aboubakar A was charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group. He was arrested on Thursday night in the Forest district of Brussels.

A third man, Rabah N, was charged with participating in terrorist activities. His arrest in the Saint-Gilles district on Friday was connected to the police operation in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil in which Reda Kriket was arrested.

A man who was shot and arrested at a tram stop in Schaerbeek on Friday was named by the prosecutor as Abderamane A. He is being held for a further 24 hours for questioning.

Belgian newspaper La Libre named this man as Abderahmane Ameroud, an Algerian previously sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiracy to murder.

Italian police arrest man suspected of supplying fake documents

Italian police arrested an Algerian man suspected of supplying fake documents used by three people linked to the attacks in Brussels and Paris, Italian media reported Saturday.

Djamal Eddine Ouali was detained in Bellizzi, in the southern Italian province of Salerno, the ANSA news agency said.

ANSA said Ouali allegedly supplied fake papers to Najim Laachroui, the suspected bombmaker who blew himself up at Brussels airport; Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of providing logistical support for the Paris attacks; and Mohamed Belkaid, who has been linked to the Paris attacks and was killed in a police raid in Brussels on March 15.

Organizers postpone Brussels “March Against Fear”: reports

Organizers have postponed a “March against Fear” after Interior Minister Jan Jambon asked that the rally be postponed over security concerns.

“We understand this request. The security of our citizens is an absolute priority.Consequently, we completely join the authorities in their proposal to postpone to an ulterior date. We ask citizens not to come this Sunday,” the organizers said in a statement on Saturday.
The rally had been planned for Sunday and was aimed at showing that Belgian people stood together and refused to be intimidated by terrorism.

Jambon and Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur pointed to limited “police capacity”.

Mayeur said that police needed to concentrate on their investigations and the march should be delayed.

“Let us allow the security services to do their work and that the march, which we too want to take part in, be delayed for several weeks,” Mayeur said.

Airport will not open before Tuesday, March 29

Zavantem International Airport will not reopen for passenger flights until Tuesday, March 29 at the earliest.

In a statement, the airport said:

“A limited team of engineers and technicians of Brussels Airport Company will be given access to the terminal building…. The team will examine the stability of the building, check the functioning of the information technology systems, assess the material damage and determine the process to renovate the terminal.”

The airport also launched a new news and information website.

Prosecutor denies terrorism link to nuclear site employee’s death: report

The Belgian prosecutor’s office has said there is no connection with terrorism in the reported death of a nuclear site employee, nu.nl reports.

The man worked as a security guard at the National Institute for Radio Elements (IRE).

Media incorrectly reported that the guard worked at a nuclear power plant after La Dernière Heure reported that he was a security officer at a Belgian nuclear power plant and ha been killed and had his access pass stolen, citing police sources.

Belgian prosecutor says 3 arrested on Friday are linked to Thursday Paris raid

Prosecutors said that the arrests of three people in Brussels on Friday were linked to a raid in Paris on Thursday, where an attack was apparently foiled.

“Police carried out two searches as part of a terrorism case linked to the arrest [near Paris] of Reda Kriket,” the prosecutor said in a statement on Friday.

Two of the three people arrested were injured in the leg during separate operations, one in the Forest district and the second in the Schaerbeek district.


Updates from March 25

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