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Bullets, chemicals found at homes of Belgian Paris suspects – paper

Belgian special forces police

A Belgian newspaper said on Tuesday that police found bullets and a possible bomb-making chemical at the Brussels homes of two men being held on suspicion of terrorist offences in connection with Friday’s Paris attacks.

The prosecutors office declined comment on the report.

Lawyers for the men have said they are innocent and got caught up in the case because they drove to Paris early on Saturday to fetch Salah Abdeslam, now a prime suspect on the run, after he called them to say his car broke down.

The tabloid Derniere Heure, which did not identify its source, said the two men in custody had ammonium nitrate fertilizer in their homes. The men denied it had been purchased to make explosives, the paper said. Salah Abdeslam’s elder brother, Brahim, was one of seven men who blew themselves up in Paris on Friday evening with improvised suicide belts.

The newspaper said police also found ammunition in one of the homes, including bullets used in Kalashnikov assault rifles of the kind used by some of the Paris attackers.

A lawyer for one of the men, who has not been named, declined comment, telling Reuters she had not yet seen the police report. A lawyer for the other man, Mohamed Amri, has said that his client was unaware of any plot.

Amri’s lawyer has said he and the unnamed man drove to Paris to bring Salah Abdeslam, 26, back to Brussels early on Saturday. The police, who checked the car near the Belgian border but allowed them to drive on, later arrested the two and have mounted an intense manhunt for Abdeslam.

The men are from the Molenbeek district of Brussels, a poor neighbourhood that is home to many Muslim immigrant families and long a focus of investigations into radical Islamists.

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