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Belgian prosecutors charge three suspects accused of terrorism

Brussels prosecutors on Monday detained three more people accused of participating in a terrorist group. A fourth who had been detained for questioning was released.

Belgian police in the Brussels district of Molenbeek

Belgian police in the Brussels district of Molenbeek

The four were detained Sunday in

searches in Brussels and the northern cities of Mechelen and Duffel

.

Belgian prosecutors did not release details on the alleged terrorists' actions or whether they were linked to the March 22 suicide bombings at Brussels airport and in the Brussels subway.

The fourth person was released without charge, according to a statement from the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office Monday.

The federal prosecutors named the three as Yassine A., Mohamed B. and Aboubaker O. They said they could not give further information at this stage.

First charges over the weekend

The Belgian authorities on Saturday charged another suspect, Rabah N., with the same offense in connection with the arrest of terror

suspect Reda Kriket

near Paris two days earlier. Kriket was convicted in absentia in Belgium in 2015 in connection with a network helping jihadi fighters go to Syria, along with Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

He is the suspected ringleader of the November 13 Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead, and is being held in prison in Belgium.

Prosecutors also on Saturday laid the first charges in connection with the Brussels attacks against a suspect named as Faycal C., who faces counts of terrorist murder, attempted terrorist murder and participating in a terrorist group. Faycal C. is suspected of being the third airport suicide bomber who fled the scene.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel

Belgium charged a second man linked to a foiled French attack with involvement in a terrorist group Sunday, the federal prosecutor said. The prosecutor named the suspect as Abderamane A., who police shot in the leg after a stand-off at a tram-stop Friday in the Schaerbeek district of Brussels.

Abderamane A. had been sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from entering France for life for aiding in the assassination of the Afghan political and military leader Ahmad Shah Massoud in 2001.

The death toll from last week's Islamic State suicide attacks on Brussels airport and the metro was raised to 35 people Monday.

jbh/kms (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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