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After Attacks, Belgium Charges 3 More With Participating In Terrorism

A woman helps readjust the tributes in the Place de la Bourse, left for the victims of the recent bomb attacks in Brussels.
Alastair Grant
A woman helps readjust the tributes in the Place de la Bourse, left for the victims of the recent bomb attacks in Brussels.

Belgian federal prosecutors said Monday they have charged three more people with participating in a terrorist group, following Tuesday's deadly attacks at Brussels' airport and a metro station.

NPR's Melissa Block tells our Newscast unit that the new charges come after a series of raids around Brussels.

The Associated Press reports that the three charged were from a group of four people detained in the raids on Sunday. The fourth person was released, and "those charged by the investigating magistrate were identified only as Yassine A, Mohamed B and Aboubaker O," according to the wire service.

Belgian police are still trying to identify a third suspect from the airport bombing and have released a 32-second video of CCTV footage over YouTube. An image previously released by the Belgian police shows the "man in the hat" walking at the airport with two suicide bombers, who have been identified as Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui.

Also Monday, Belgium's Crisis Center said the death toll from the Islamic State-claimed attacks has climbed to 35, after 4 people wounded in the attacks died in hospitals. Three attackers also died during the bombings, bring the total number of dead to 38. More than 300 people were injured.

As we reported, Belgian authorities on Saturday charged two other people in connection to the attacks, following raids on Thursday and Friday.

But Belgium's federal prosecutor said Monday that authorities have now released one of them, who is referred to as "Faysal C." The prosecutor said information that led to his arrest "could not be confirmed."

The prosecutor had previously said no weapons or explosives were found when authorities searched Faysal's house. And as we reported, "The other man, 'Aboubakar A,' has been charged with 'leading participation in activities of a terrorist group.' "

And Melissa reports that the Zaventem airport, which was damaged during the attacks, will test temporary infrastructure today. She adds: "Airport officials say they are preparing for a partial restart — but have not decided when partial service can resume."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.