Paris attack suspect jailed in Belgium

Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect from the 2015 Paris attacks, has been jailed for 20 years in Belgium over a gunfight that led to his arrest.

Abdeslam, 28, and co-defendant Sofien Ayari were both convicted of terror-related charges of attempted murder.

Ayari, 24, was also given a 20-year sentence. Both fired on officers who raided a flat in Brussels in 2016.

He is being held in a jail in France and is due to face trial there over the Paris attacks themselves.

He had refused to answer questions from the judge in the trial in Brussels, and eventually refused to attend the hearings.

Neither he nor Ayari, 24, was in court as the verdict was read out on Monday. Both received the maximum 20-year term requested by prosecutors.

The judge said that “there can be no doubt” about the two men’s involvement with “radicalism”.

What happened during the shootout and its aftermath?

On 15 March 2016, Belgian police hunting Abdeslam carried out a raid in the Forest area of Brussels.

They targeted a flat believing that the suspect – who by then had been on the run for four month – had been there.

When they moved in they exchanged fire with the three occupants. One of the three was killed and three officers wounded.

Abdeslam and Ayari managed to escape, but Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found in the flat, confirming his presence there.

He was picked up days later in a raid in the nearby Molenbeek area, and later transferred to France.

Source: BBC

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