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Last Updated: Friday, 19 March, 2004, 16:01 GMT
Suspect detained over Casablanca
bomb debris
Five simultaneous attacks rocked Casablanca
Belgian authorities say anti-terrorist police are holding a suspect over the suicide bomb attacks in the Moroccan city of Casablanca last year.

Police raided around 20 houses in Brussels, where the unnamed suspect was detained, and other Belgian cities.

They said they were investigating North Africans who had received paramilitary training in Afghanistan.

About 45 people, including 12 suicide bombers, were killed in the attacks in the Moroccan city in May.

Spanish police are believed to be probing links between those attacks and the train bombings in Madrid last week, says the BBC's John Moylan in Brussels.

Hundreds of people have already been arrested in connection with the Casablanca bombings, and trials have resulted in more than 10 death sentences.

'Illegal residents'

"One of the people detained is... the subject of an international warrant delivered by the Moroccan authorities following the attack in Casablanca [in May 2003]," an official statement said, carried by the Associated Press news agency.

The suspect is believed to be linked to a group called the Moroccan Islamic Combatants Group which has been under investigation by Belgian police and intelligence services, the statement from the Federal Prosecutors' Office said.

The inquiries have revealed "serious evidence" pointing to the presence in Belgium of a group of North Africans linked to that group who have received paramilitary training in Afghanistan, the statement said.

Some are illegally resident in Belgium, it added.




SEE ALSO:
Casablanca suspects go on trial
21 Jul 03  |  Africa
'It was like a thunderclap'
17 May 03  |  Middle East
In pictures: Casablanca blasts
17 May 03  |  Photo Gallery
Country profile: Morocco
11 Sep 03  |  Country profiles


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