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Brussels Still on Alert, Seeking 'Several Suspects'

As brother of suspect Salah Abdeslam urges him: 'Surrender'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2015 9:07 AM CST
Brussels Still on Alert, Seeking 'Several Suspects'
Belgian Army soldiers patrol near Christmas huts in front of the old Brussels' stock exchange on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.   (Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

(Newser) – Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon says "several suspects" tied to the Paris attacks could be at large in the country. Jambon told Flemish broadcaster VRT this is why Belgium has put so many security resources in place in the past few days. Authorities have previously said Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of playing a key role in the attacks, is believed to have crossed into Belgium. But Jambon said Sunday that the threat facing Brussels wouldn't necessarily disappear if Abdeslam was found, because "unfortunately, the threat is wider than this (one) figure." Added a local mayor: "There are two terrorists in the Brussels region that could commit very dangerous acts. As long as this threat is present, we must be very attentive."

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Brussels residents woke to largely empty streets as the city enters its second day under the highest threat level. Subways and underground trams remain closed Sunday and officials recommended that sports competitions and all activities in public buildings should be canceled and malls and commercial centers closed. Meanwhile, the brother of Salah Abdeslam has appealed to him to turn himself in. Mohamed Abdeslam told broadcaster RTBF Sunday he would rather see his "brother in prison than in a cemetery." Asked if he had a message for his brother, he said: "Surrender." Belgium's national Crisis Center on Saturday raised the threat alert in the Brussels region to Level 4, which indicates a "serious and immediate threat." (Read more Brussels stories.)

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