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Belgium identifies Brussels airport attackers (Updated)

Suicide brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui

The two men who blew themselves up at Brussels airport on Tuesday were brothers known to the police and a third attacker, who is at large, is a known Paris attacks suspect, Belgian media said on Wednesday.

The suicide bombers were named as Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui and the third man as Najim Laachraoui.

Federal prosecutors declined to comment, but said they would provide information in the course of the morning.

Laachraoui’s DNA had been found in houses used by the Paris attackers last year, prosecutors said on Monday, adding that he had traveled to Hungary in September with Paris attacks prime suspect Salah Abdeslam.

Captured on a security camera photograph at Brussels Airport on Tuesday morning beside the El Bakraoui brothers, Laachraoui did not detonate a bomb and is still at large. A bomb was subsequently destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Khalid El Bakraoui, 27, had rented under a false name the flat in the Forest borough of the Belgian capital where police killed a gunman in a raid last week, RTBF said.

Belgian newspaper DH said the Bakraoui brothers may have fled the flat in Forest after last week’s shootout.

In the raid, investigators found an Islamic State flag, an assault rifle, detonators and a fingerprint of Abdeslam, who was arrested three days later.

Both brothers have criminal records, but have not been linked by the police to Islamist militants until now, RTBF said.

Brahim El Bakraoui, 30, was convicted in October 2010 for firing a Kalashnikov assault rifle at police and wounding an officer after a robbery in Brussels earlier that year. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

In 2011, his brother Khalid was given a sentence of five years for car jacking.



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