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Paris Attacks Suspect Captured in Brussels

Brussels authorities have captured Salah Abdeslam, one of the men believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 130 Parisians and visitors during the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

French President Francois Hollande told reporters France is seeking immediate extradition of  Abdeslam.

“I know the Belgian authorities will respond quickly and favorably to our request for extradition,” Hollande said. “We want him to be questioned and put on trial in France.”

Abdeslam was captured in the Molenbeek district of Brussels following a shootout with police, which resulted in the Belgian-born French citizen being shot in the leg. Two other men who were referred to as Abdeslam’s accomplices were also captured, with one of the men sustaining injuries.

Belgian officers had been on a four-month manhunt before capturing Abdeslam, resulting in several raids in Brussels. The Molenbeek district was the scene of an earlier raid before the fugitive’s capture.

Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found during a March 15 house search in another part of the capital, but authorities have yet to determine how old the fingerprints are. The prints were retrieved in the Forest borough of Brussels, according to the Belgian prosecutor’s office.

Celebratory messages came in after news broke of Abdeslam’s arrest — including a tweet from Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. “Congratulations to the police on the arrest of Salah Abdeslam,” the mayor tweeted.

Abdeslam is not the first suspect to be confronted this week.

Mohamed Belkaid was killed by police during a Belgian-French operation Tuesday. Belkaid, a 35-year-old Algerian national, is believed to be the same suspect that police said used a fake Belgian ID with the name of Samir Bouzid. A man with the same ID accompanied Abdeslam to Hungary two months before the Paris attacks.

Molenbeek — Abdeslam’s location during his capture — has a reputation for being a hot spot for militant movements. Several members of the impoverished Brussels suburb have been linked to terror plots and attacks.

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