Belgian raids target support for Syrian rebels

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian media are reporting that police have conducted searches at numerous locations over the recruitment of fighters to help rebels trying to overthrow Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

In a brief statement asking news outlets to obscure the images of investigators in their photographs, Belgian federal police confirmed that “a series of raids” were carried out Tuesday morning.

The websites of several Belgian news agencies, including the Le Soir and La Capitale newspapers, say raids were conducted at 46 addresses in the cities of Brussels, Vilvoorde and Antwerp.

They also report that Fouad Belkacem, former spokesman for the Islamic group Sharia4Belgium, had been arrested. They said the exact number of arrests was unclear.

The newspapers report that Belkacem is believed to have recruited young rebels to fight against the Assad regime.

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