Belgium charges suspect with terrorism over Paris attacks

Belgian police special forces are seen on a balcony in Brussels after the country tightened security.
Belgian police special forces are seen on a balcony in Brussels after the country tightened security. REUTERS

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgium on Friday charged one suspect with involvement in terrorism over the Paris attacks and released one other as part of a separate investigation into suicide bomber Hadfi Bilal, prosecutors said.

"The person that was arrested yesterday has been charged by the investigating judge with participation in terrorist attacks and participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation, and placed into custody," Belgium's federal prosecutor said in a statement.

The announcement came a day after Belgian police arrested nine people in Brussels during raids connected to last week's attacks with the charged suspect now the only remaining in custody from that roundup.

"In the... case against Hadfi Bilal, the person that was arrested yesterday has been released," the statement said, adding that "any additional information or further details shall not be released".

Earlier Friday, Belgian authorities extended the detention of two men charged with aiding fugitive Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam on the night of the attacks.

Hamza Attou and Mohammed Amri, who were charged earlier this week with helping to smuggle Abdeslam out of France in the hours after the multiple shootings and bombings on Nov 13, will be kept in custody for another week, prosecutors said.

Attou's lawyer said his client did not know that Abdeslam was involved in the attacks.

Abdeslam, whose brother Brahim blew himself up at a Paris bar, is believed to be in Belgium and is the subject of a huge manhunt.