French police have said that a suicide belt found in a suburb of Paris contained bolts and the same type of explosives used in the Paris attacks. A manhunt is underway for a suspect thought to have fled to Belgium.
Discovered by municipal garbagemen in a dumpster some 10 days after the attacks that left 130 people dead in the French capital, the object is the latest clue in the ongoing manhunt for 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, a French citizen and key suspect in the attacks.
The belt is being analysed "to confirm whether it is explosive," according to a source close to the ongoing inquiry in Paris.
Mobile phone gelocation by authorities also pinpointed Abdeslam's phone near the apparently discarded explosives, police said on Monday.
Authorities have said that Abdeslam may have intended to blow himself up in the 18th district of Paris but had abandoned the plan, although it was not clear why.
"Maybe he had a technical problem with his explosive belt," a police source told the Reuters news agency.
Abdeslam's brother Mohamed told Belgian television Sunday he thought his fugitive brother had decided at the very last moment not to go through with his attack.
Police expand search looking for clues
About a dozen people are suspected of playing a role in the attacks. Seven individuals blew themselves up: two at the Bataclan concert venue, three at the Stade de France stadium, one at a cafe on Boulevard Voltaire and one during a police raid at an apartment in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.
Fearing an imminent Paris-style attack, Belgium has extended a maximum security alert in the capital Brussels for a week but said the metro system and schools could re-open by Wednesday.
jar/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP)