Following this week's bombings in Brussels, Belgian police Friday detained a suspect — purportedly carrying a suitcase full of explosives — after shooting him in a leg during a raid, Reuters reported. The federal prosecutor's office said the arrest was one of three in Brussels connected with an arrest in Paris on Thursday of a man suspected of plotting a new attack.
The most recent capture brings the total number of arrests in Belgium to nine since Thursday. Two more were arrested in Germany amid a crackdown from European officials aiming to stop further terrorist attacks after Tuesday's bombings in Brussels killed 31. Attacks in Paris last November killed 130.
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Reuters reported that the scene Friday included armed police cordoning off a major Brussels intersection in the borough of Schaerbeek as apparent controlled explosions went off. A Belgian public broadcaster reported the local Mayor Bernard Clerfayt saying the detained suspect was linked to Tuesday's bombings and that he had a suitcase full of explosives. He was shot after reportedly not responding to police orders.
"I heard two very loud shots," a local resident named Marios told the BBC. "Immediately within seconds police arrived ... The streets were evacuated."
A nearby witness told the Belgian La Libre newspaper, "I heard two explosions, they were shooting. I opened the window and saw a man lying near the tram stop. The police ordered him to show his hands, remove his jacket. They said that if he did not comply, they would use their weapons," according to Reuters.
Police earlier Friday said they confirmed the identity of one of the Brussels attackers, 24-year-old Najim Laachraoui, who was suspected of being the bomb maker for the Paris attacks in November. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for both attacks.
NBC News reported, citing a "senior U.S. official," Friday that two Americans had been among those killed in the Brussels attacks. The BBC reported an investigation into the Brussels bombings continues.