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Paris attacks suspect to be released 'on strict conditions'

A man held by police in Belgium since November in connection with the Paris terror attacks will be released today, the country's federal prosecutor has said.

According to state broadcaster RTBF, 35-year-old Belgian national Abdellah C is accused of accompanying Mohamed Abrini - another of the suspects in the November 13 attacks - to the airport when he left to fight in Syria.

Abdellah C will be released under strict conditions, the prosecutor added.

His lawyer said he denied any involvement.


Two arrested on suspicion of Brussels 'militant attack' plot

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of plotting militant attacks in Brussels on New Year's Eve, the Belgian federal prosecutor has said.

Belgian police on patrol in Brussels earlier this month Credit: Reuters

The two were detained during house searches in Brussels and Liege on Sunday and Monday, along with four others who were later released.

Prosecutors said military clothing and propaganda from the so-called Islamic State extremist group had been found, but no weapons or explosives.

The searches were not linked to last month's attacks in Paris, they added.

In a statement, the prosecutor's office said one of the two was arrested on suspicion of planning attacks as well as "playing a lead role in the activities of a terrorist group and recruiting for terrorist acts".

The second suspect faces potential charges of planning and "participating in the activities of a terrorist group", the statement added.

The investigation cast a light on serious threats of attacks believed to be aimed at several emblematic sites in Brussels and carried out during the end-of-year celebrations.

– Brussels prosecutor's office


Driver killed in Belgium bus crash named

A driver killed when a coach carrying 34 British school pupils crashed in Belgium has been named.

Mr Chance was the only fatality in the crash Credit: Reuters

James "Geordie" Chance was the only fatality of the crash in Middelkerke in West Flanders although a 13-year-old boy suffered a fractured skull.

The grandfather of five, originally from Tyneside but who moved to Lisburn in County Antrim, was believed to have been sitting next to the coach's driver when it crashed into a motorway bridge.

The coach involved in the crash is owned by Richmond Coaches of Ballinderry Road, Lisburn, in Northern Ireland.

In a statement last night, the firm said: "Richmond Coaches were devastated to hear of the death of their second driver, Mr Chance who was sitting in the courier seat at the time of the crash. Mr Chance's family have been informed of his death.

The company's director Brendan McKenna added that his "thoughts and prayers" were with all the families affected.

Two pupils remain in hospital after Belgium bus crash

Two pupils from Brentwood School remain in hospital in hospital following a bus crash on Sunday, the school has confirmed.

One of the two is in intensive care while the other is being treated for a fractured leg. The children's parents are with them.

Arrangements to bring 25 of the children home by car have already begun while the remaining seven will return by minibus shortly.

Foreign Office working with Belgium over bus crash

A British Embassy team is providing consular assistance following the crash of a British bus in Belgium, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Following the crash of a British bus in Belgium, a British Embassy team is in the area providing consular assistance to those involved. We are working closely with the Belgian authorities to establish details of the incident

– FCO spokesman
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