Belgian Prosecutor Releases Terror-Attack Suspect, as Death Toll Rises

(Reuters/AP) -
This CCTV image from the Brussels Airport surveillance cameras made available by Belgian Police, shows what officials believe may be suspects in the Brussels airport attack on March 22, 2016. The Belgian state prosecutor said in a press conference on Tuesday, that a photograph of three male suspects was taken at Zaventem. "Two of them seem to have committed suicide attacks. The third, wearing a light-coloured jacket and a hat, is actively being sought," the prosecutor said. REUTERS/CCTV/Handout via ReutersATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
This CCTV image from the Brussels airport surveillance cameras shows the men whom officials believe were the terrorists in the Brussels airport attack last Tuesday. (Reuters/CCTV/Handout via Reuters)

A man widely reported to be the third individual in CCTV footage of two suspected suicide bombers at the Brussels airport was released on Monday for lack of evidence.

Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office said it had freed a man it had named only as Faycal C., adding it had no evidence to justify holding him. He had been charged on Saturday with “terrorist murder.”

Belgian media had identified the man as Faycal Cheffou and a source close to the investigation had said officials believed he was the man in the footage.

Earlier on Monday, police had issued an appeal for witnesses, saying they were seeking to identify the man caught on CCTV with two others thought to have blown themselves up. Police say the third man appeared to have left his bomb, which failed to explode, and fled.

Also on Monday, Belgian authorities announced that the death toll from the attacks has risen to 35.

Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block posted on  Twitter, “Four patients deceased in hospital. Medical teams did all possible. Total victims: 35. Courage to all the families.”

De Block reported over the weekend that 101 of those wounded in the blasts were still being treated in hospitals, including 32 in burn units. A doctor at one of those burn units who had once served in Afghanistan described patients’ wounds as shocking.


Updated Monday, March 28, 2016 at 12:33 pm