Belgium police still hunting third airport suspect

Authorities issue appeal for information about third suspect caught on airport CCTV as death toll rises to 35.

Brussels attacks
An image showing police as they coax a young girl away from a suspect laying on the ground at a tram stop in Brussels on Friday [AP]

Belgian authorities have issued a new appeal for information about a man caught on CCTV at Brussels airport with two others who are thought to have blown themselves up in the check-in area last Tuesday.

Belgian Federal Police released on Monday a 32-second video of a mysterious man in a hat seen in the company of the airport suicide bombers, indicating that he could still be at large.

Earlier this week, Belgian media had claimed that a detained man named Faycal Cheffou was the mysterious suspect in the white jacket and dark hat.

Police at the time would not comment on those reports, but charged Cheffou on Saturday with “taking part in a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder”.

But Cheffou was freed on Monday following a lack of evidence linking him to the carnage, Belgian prosecutors said. 

IN PICTURES: Tight security and tributes after the Brussels attacks

“The clues that had led to the arrest of [the person] named Faycal C were not backed up by the progression of the ongoing investigation,” the federal prosecution said in a statement.

Authorities also announced that the number of victims from last week’s airport and subway suicide bombings rose to 35.

On Monday, Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block announced on her Twitter account that four of those hospitalised after the bombings had died of their injuries.

The Listening Post (Full) – Brussels attacks: Hijacking terror for political points

She posted: “Four patients deceased in hospital. Medical teams did all possible. Total victims: 35. Courage to all the families.”

De Block reported over the weekend that 101 of those wounded in the blasts were still being treated in hospitals, including 32 in burns units. 

On Sunday, investigators launched raids in Brussels and two other cities, taking four more people into custody.

The Belgian Federal Prosecutors Office provided no details of the alleged actions committed by the suspects and said the fourth person detained on Sunday was released without charge.

READ MORE: Brussels after the attacks – sorrow, unity and dignity

The bombings, the bloodiest tragedy in recent Belgian history, were claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Several people have been arrested on terrorism charges in Belgium, France, Germany and Italy since the attacks in Brussels.

The attacks in Belgium left at least 35 people killed and injured some 270 others [Christian Hartmann/Reuters]The attacks in Belgium left at least 35 people killed and injured some 270 others [Christian Hartmann/Reuters]
Source: News Agencies


Brussels attacks

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Published On 23 Mar 2016
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