Paris attacks terrorist Abdeslam arrested in Brussels shootout
The most wanted fugitive in the November 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, has been wounded in a Brussels raid and is currently holed up at the scene, according to Belgian newspaper DH.
Reporters and witnesses at the scene say they have heard two powerful explosions, and more gunfire, as the police operation continues.
“We got him,” Francken tweeted. According to the minister, the terrorist was injured in the leg during the raid.
At least five arrests were made, according to local press.
Francoise Schepmans, the mayor of the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek, where the raid took place, also said two people had been injured in the operation.
The operation appears to be continuing with local media reporting that at least two people are barricaded inside the house. More shots have been heard, witnesses reported on Twitter.
Police are surrounding Four Winds street, located just around the corner from Delaunoystraat, where Abdeslam is thought to have slipped away three days after the Paris attacks.
According to HLN, police could be heard shouting “Come out with your hands up in the air” during the raid.
Smoke has been seen on the street, and is believed to be from a stun grenade, according to HLN.
The raid is taking place just 10 kilometers from the EU-Turkey summit venue.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel rushed out of the summit following the news, and is expected to be joined at Belgian government offices by Interior Minister Jan Jambon, RTBF said.
It comes just two days after it was revealed that authorities found an ISIS flag at the home of an Algerian-born gunman shot in a Brussels raid earlier this week.
That man was identified on Friday as Mohamed Belkaid, who used the name Samir Bouzid, RTBF news reported. He is believed to have been responsible for plotting the November 13 terror attacks in Paris.
He had been on French and Belgian wanted lists since December, when evidence emerged of him making a cash transfer from Brussels to a woman involved in the attacks.
RTBF described the man as an accomplice of Abdeslam. The news outlet quoted an anonymous source as saying it was “more than likely” that Abdeslam fled the scene of the Tuesday raid, as his fingerprints were found at the apartment.