Belgian authorities have charged a sixth suspect with terrorist offenses over the November 13 attacks in Paris. The indictment came after a number of house searches were carried out in Brussels and southern Belgium.
Federal prosecutors in Belgium said they charged a Brussels man with "terrorist attacks and taking part in the activities of a terrorist group." The arrest was linked to the attacks in Paris on November 13, which left 130 people dead.
Two other suspects questioned in the east Belgian town of Verviers were released. Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported that they were the father and the brother of one of the men charged in Brussels. But prosecutors gave no further details about the suspect.
Verviers had been hit by a fierce gun battle between police and three men two weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. Two of the men were killed and the other was arrested.
Other recent suspects in custody
A Brussels court ordered that two other suspects currently in custody be held for another month. The two had been arrested on November 24 and charged with terror-related offenses.
An international manhunt is underway for Salah Abdeslam, a the suspected ringleader of the November 13 Paris attacks
Thirty-one-year-old Ali Oulkadi, a French national residing in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek, is accused of having driven Salah Abdeslam, the key remaining suspect in the Paris attacks, in Brussels on the day after the attacks in Paris. His lawyer said that Oulkadi was unaware of the time that Abdeslam was linked to the atrocities.
"No one knew that Salah was wanted," Olivier Martins said after his client Oulkadi appeared in a Brussels court under armed guard. The last known sighting of Abdeslam was at a police checkpoint in Cambrai, France.
The other man arrested has not been named.
The first two people to be charged in Belgium over the Paris attacks were Mohammed Amri, 27, and Hamza Attou, 20, who were accused three days after the attack of helping Salah Abdeslam escape to Brussels. Belgian media quoted Attou's lawyer as saying that he might be carrying explosives.
Lazez Abrimi, a 39-year-old Moroccan national also from the Molenbeek - a district that several suspects have reported links to - has also been charged with terror offenses after police discovered two guns and traces of blood in his car.
Abdeslam, 26, has become the subject of an international manhunt. His brother Brahim Abdeslam himself up in the restaurant Comptoir Voltaire on November 13.
Belgium also issued an international arrest warrant for Mohamed Abrini, 30, who was filmed along with Salah Abdeslam at a petrol station in France on the motorway to Paris in a Renault Clio that was later used in the attacks.
ss/mkg (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)