PARIS — Joint French-Belgian police teams swept into a Brussels neighborhood Tuesday in raids linked to last year’s terrorist attacks in Paris, officials said. One suspect was killed, while four Belgian police officers were slightly wounded by gunfire.
The operation pointed to apparent loose ends in probes seeking to uncover the full scope of the network behind the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, which killed 130 people and injured many more across the French capital.
One key suspect, Salah Abdeslam, remains at large. But the Agence France-Presse news agency, citing French police sources, said the 26-year-old Brussels native was not a target of Tuesday’s raids.
Officials believe that much of the planning for the Paris attacks took place in Brussels, and Belgian police are still holding at least 10 people who have been arrested since November.
France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said French police units took part in the searches through the Brussels district of Forest. The area is south of Molenbeek, a neighborhood of many North African immigrants that was home to several key figures in the Paris attacks.
“It was in the context of a police raid,” Cazeneuve said on Tuesday, speaking from the Ivory Coast. “A team made up of Belgian police officers and French police officers came under gunfire — shots from heavy weapons. But I am extremely cautious on the circumstances and also cautious because there is an ongoing operation.”
Marc-Jean Ghyssels, the mayor of Forest, told reporters Tuesday that police sought at least two gunmen. Le Soir, a Belgian news outlet, reported that at least one of the gunmen used a Kalashnikov. By early evening on Tuesday, police had reportedly “neutralized” one suspect, according to reports.
Parts of Forest were placed on lockdown, including two schools near the site of the gun battle. At least one suspect remains on the run.