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Two more Paris attackers identified, focus on Belgium’s jihadi hotbed

world Updated: Nov 16, 2015 01:52 IST
Paris attacks

A soldier patrols in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.(AFP)

Two of the Islamic State attackers who terrorised Paris were French nationals living in Belgium, officials said on Sunday, as a row over Europe’s refugee crisis reignited, with conservatives demanding an end to “the days of uncontrolled immigration”.

Police have identified the two attackers, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said, after the first of the seven gunmen was identified as Ismael Omar Mostefai, a 29-year-old who lived in the city of Chartres, southwest of Paris.

“Two more terrorists killed in the night of Nov. 13 were today formally identified through finger prints,” the prosecutor said in a statement, adding they were French and living in Belgium.

The two men, aged 20 and 31, were suicide bombers at the Stade de France and at a bar in the 11th district.

Three jihadist cells staged the co-ordinated hits on Friday night at bars, a concert hall and soccer stadium, killing 129 people and injuring 352, including 99 who were in a serious condition, Molins said, and also put out a request for a Belgian-born man they warned was dangerous.

French authorities said they found the bodies of seven killers but Islamic State, which claimed responsibility as revenge for French military action in Syria and Iraq, said there were eight, raising questions over whether one was on the loose.

France was the first European state to join US air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq in September 2014, while a year later it extended its air strikes to Syria. Russia began its own air campaign in Syria in October, but has been targeting mainly areas controlled by other groups opposed to its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s critics say.