Belgium releases prime suspect in Brussels bombings

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SBS World News Radio: Belgian prosecutors say they have released a man who had been charged over last week's Brussels bombings, citing a lack of evidence.

Belgian prosecutors say they have released a man who had been charged over last week's Brussels bombings, citing a lack of evidence.

The twin blasts at the city's airport and a third at a central train station have killed 35 people, along with the three suicide bombers, and have left more than 300 others injured.

The man known as Faycal C was a prime suspect in the Brussels attacks, thought to be the would-be third airport bomber whose device failed.

CCTV vision at Zaventem airport had shown two suicide bombers, identified as Ibrahim El Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui, with a so-called "man in the hat."

Faycal C was believed to be that man, detained last Thursday and charged with taking part in the activities of a terrorist group and attempted terrorist murder.

His home was searched, but no weapons or explosives were found, and he has now been released due to lack of evidence.

His release comes as authorities have confirmed four more people injured in the bombings at the airport and Maelbeek train station have died.

That raises the death toll to 35, along with the three suicide bombers.

Among the more than 300 wounded who have survived was 20-year-old Fanny Clain, who was at Zaventem when the first explosions went off.

She remains at an Antwerp hospital with burns and shrapnel wounds but says she holds no anger towards the attackers.

"I would say, thanks to this event, I realised that there are still good people in this world. And, before, I was kind of, 'Oh no, I know people don't care about anything.' But now I saw how people can be nice to each other and love each other, and so I feel relieved about that. Yeah, this world is not too bad."

It has been a week since the bombings rocked Brussels, Europe and the wider world, and the response from some Belgians has been far from loving.

Police had to dispel violent clashes over the weekend sparked by nationalist protesters, who have angrily blamed Muslim communities for the bombings.

Conversely, members from those communities have held a rally of their own outside the Maelbeek metro station to show solidarity with the victims.

(Translated) "No religion tolerates such crimes. On the contrary, they condemn them. If we are here today, it is to express our pain, our sorrow and our incomprehension."

The self-proclaimed Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the blasts, as investigations continue.

Three more people have been arrested, while gloves believed to be those worn by the airport bombers are being tested.

As authorities attempt to piece the puzzle together, many young Belgians, like this one, are saying unity is the only way the country can truly navigate through the tragedy.

(Translated) "Personally, I'm not afraid, because I don't believe hate will divide us. We just need to show solidarity, to hold hands. We mustn't be afraid. We must continue our lives together. All together."

 

 

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