Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam discharged from hospital | News | DW | 19.03.2016
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Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam discharged from hospital

Key suspect Salah Abdeslam and an accomplice have left the hospital where they were being treated for injuries sustained during their arrest. An extradition process is underway in order to try Abdeslam in France.

Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur said early on Saturday that Salah Abdeslam and his accomplice had been discharged after receiving medical attention at Brussels' Saint-Pierre hospital overnight. The pair sustained gunshot wounds during their arrest in the neighborhood of Molenbeekon Friday.

"The two suspected terrorists have left the Saint-Pierre hospital," Mayeur wrote on Twitter. "Well done and thank you to all the hospital staff and police."

It was not immediately clear where Abdeslam and his accomplice were taken, although both are likely to be questioned ahead of a hearing on their extradition to France.

French President Francois Hollande, who was in Brussels on Friday for an EU summit, hailed the arrests, saying Paris would request Abdeslam's extradition from Belgium "as rapidly as possible."

Multiple arrests

Authorities believe Abdeslam was one of the drivers who transported the assailants to Paris to conduct the attacks, which left 130 people dead. Four other suspects were also arrested on Friday in connection with the attacks.

Among them was a man known by the fake names of Amine Choukri and Monir Ahmed Alaaj, as well as three members of a family which sheltered Abdeslam in Molenbeek. Abdeslam's brother Brahim died in the November attacks after he blew himself up in the French capital.

Salah Abdeslam

Salah Abdeslam allegedly helped transport assailants to Paris

'Extensive networks'

Following Friday's arrests, only one known suspect is still on the run. Mohamed Abrini was filmed with Abdeslam two days before the attacks on November 13 at a petrol station on a motorway close to Paris.

Speaking on Friday, Hollande said he expected more arrests in the future. "What we need to do is arrest all those who organized and facilitated these attacks … There are far more people that we have identified, and it is that work that we need to deal with," he said.

"We are dealing with extensive networks in several countries."

Contested state of emergency

Since November, French police have conducted more than 2,500 raids under controversial state of emergency powers, which have been criticized by human rights groups.

"France has a responsibility to ensure public safety and try to prevent further attacks, but the police have used their new emergency powers in abusive, discriminatory and unjustified ways," said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW).

According to HRW, only four legal procedures have been launched in connection with the thousands of raids across the country.

ksb/jlw (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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