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Brussels bombers found guilty after long murder trial

LONDON: A court in Brussels has found six men guilty of terrorist murder, more than seven years after suicide bomb attacks killed 32 people at the city’s airport and a metro station in March 2016.

After a long trial and 19 days of jury deliberations, the court in Brussels returned their verdicts.

Several of those on trial had already been convicted of taking part in the Paris terror attacks months earlier.

Salah Abdeslam, 33, was arrested days before the Brussels bombings.

He was found guilty in France last year of the November 2015 Paris bomb and gun attacks in which 130 died.

Abdeslam had fled Paris for Belgium after the 2015 attacks and denied involvement in the bombings four months later. But the court in Brussels has now convicted him of murder and attempted murder in Brussels too.

Another of those now found guilty of both bombings, Mohamed Abrini, was identified on CCTV fleeing Zaventem airport when his explosives did not go off.

He became known as the “man in the hat” and was among a number of suspects arrested in Brussels a few weeks later. Unlike Abdeslam, Abrini had admitted his role in the attacks, confessing to preparing the explosives for the bombings.

Four other men were found guilty of terrorist murder: Oussama Atar, Osama Krayem, Ali El Haddad Asufi and Bilal El Makhoukhi.

Krayem had been seen with the Metro bomber who blew himself up at Maelbeek.

He too had a backpack full of explosives but did not detonate them.