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France

France to extradite Jewish museum shooting suspect Nemmouche to Belgium

The man suspected of killing several people at Brussels' Jewish Museum last month is to be extradited to Belgium. He has been in French custody since his arrest in Marseille days after the deadly shooting.

A French court ruled on Thursday that Mehdi Nemmouche should be sent to Belgium, where officials are seeking to proceed withe a criminal case against him. The 29-year-old French-Algerian national is alleged to have shot dead four people at Brussels' Jewish Museum in May.

The court in Versailles, acting in line with the European warrant for his arrest, described the crime as "killings with a terrorist connotation," which should, therefore, be overseen by Belgium, where they were carried out.

Nemmouche had originally opposed extradition, wary of being handed over to Israeli authorities. Two of the victims of the May 24 shooting were an Israeli couple. A French woman and a Belgian man were also killed.

French authorities found the 29-year-old suspect in possession of a Kalashnikov rifle, wrapped in the flag for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as well as a handgun.

Nemmouche has reportedly served time in France before. French prosecutor Francois Molins also said that he had travelled to Syria “three weeks after he was freed” to join Jihadist group in the country's civil war, where he remained for roughly one year.

Jewish leaders urged Europe to do more to prevent anti-Semitic attacks in the aftermath of the shooting, highlighting in particular radicalized fighters returning from Syria.

kms/pfd (AFP, dpa)

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