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Saturday 3 December 2016

'Turn yourself in', brother of terror massacre fugitive says in French TV appeal

Mohamed Abdeslam has called for his brother to hand himself in to police
Mohamed Abdeslam has called for his brother to hand himself in to police
Abdeslam Salah is suspected of being involved in the attacks

The brother of fugitive Salah Abdeslam, who is being hunted in connection with the Paris terror attacks, has made a TV appeal for him to turn himself in.

Mohamed Abdeslam, who spoke to French TV station BFM, said his brother was devout but showed no signs of being a radical Islamist.

He said: "Of course, I call on him to turn himself over to the police. The best would be for him to give himself up so that justice can shed all the light on this."

Mohamed Abdeslam was arrested and questioned following the attack and was released on Monday. He said his brother prayed and attended a mosque occasionally but dressed in jeans and pullovers and showed no signs of being a radical.

Abdeslam added: "We think of him and we wonder where he is."

Last night, police cancelled the friendly soccer match between Germany and Holland after the stadium in Hanover was evacuated when a suspicious object was found inside, although it later transpired that no explosives were found.

Police spokesman Joerg Hoffmeister said that everyone inside had to be evacuated after an unidentified object was found.

In London, English soccer fans saluted France on by roaring out the 'Marseillaise' national anthem at a friendly in Wembley stadium.

An estimated 80,000 fans then applauded wildly as the two teams stood together in one long line ahead of a perfectly observed minute's silence in a solemn mark of respect for the at least 129 people who were killed in the Paris attacks.

French officials say they are seeking a second fugitive directly involved in the Paris attacks.

Seven attackers died that night - three around the national stadium, three inside the Bataclan concert venue, and one at a restaurant nearby. A team of gunmen also opened fire at a series of nightspots in one of Paris' trendiest neighbourhoods.

France and Russia bombed Islamic State targets in Syria yesterday, punishing the group for attacks in Paris and against a Russian airliner that together killed 353 people, and made the first tentative steps toward a possible military alliance.

Retaliation

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a coordinated onslaught in Paris on Friday and the downing of a Russian charter jet over Sinai on October 31, saying they were in retaliation for French and Russian air raids in Iraq and Syria.

Still reeling from the Paris carnage, France formally requested European Union assistance in its battle and British Prime Minister David Cameron edged closer to extending military action against Islamic State in Syria.

Police investigating the worst atrocity in France since World War Two discovered two locations in Paris from which they believe the militants launched their assault. Underlining the widening scope of the probe, police in Germany said they had arrested seven suspects, including two women.

In Moscow, the Kremlin acknowledged that a bomb had destroyed a Russian airliner last month, killing 224 people. President Vladimir Putin vowed to hunt down those responsible and intensify air strikes against Islamists in Syria.

"Our air force's military work in Syria must not simply be continued," he said. "It must be intensified in such a way that the criminals understand that retribution is inevitable."

Syrian targets hit by Russian long-range bombers and cruise missiles on yesterday included the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. In a separate action, French warplanes targeted Raqqa for a second day running.

The Kremlin said Putin spoke to Hollande by telephone and had ordered the Russian navy to establish contact with a French naval force heading to the eastern Mediterranean, led by an aircraft carrier, and to treat them as allies.

"We need to work out a plan with them of joint sea and air actions," Putin told military chiefs.

Tribute

Hollande will visit Putin in Moscow on November 26, two days after the French leader is due to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington to push for a concerted drive against Islamic State, which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid tribute to the victims of the 'heartless' Paris attacks.

William and Kate visited the French embassy in Knightsbridge, London, to sign a book of condolence for those killed in Friday's atrocities.

Dressed in black, the royal couple were greeted outside the embassy by the French ambassador Sylvie Bermann before writing individual messages.

The Duke paused for a moment to read other messages as his wife stood solemnly by his side.

He wrote: 'To all those who have died and were injured in the heartless attacks in Paris, and to all the people in France: Nos plus sinceres condolences'. He then signed his name.

This translates as 'our deep condolences'.

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