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Salah Abdeslam jailed for 20 years over Forest gunfight

10:47 23/04/2018

Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving suspect of the 2015 Paris terror attacks, has been jailed for 20 years over a shootout in Forest in March 2016 which led to his arrest.

Abdeslam, 28, was convicted by a Brussels court on Monday of attempted murder of police officers in a terrorist context.

Sofien Ayari, 24, who stood trial together with Abdeslam, was also jailed for 20 years - the maximum possible sentence.

Abdeslam, a Belgium-born French national, was arrested in Molenbeek three days after the shootout in Forest. The gunfire exchange occurred after police made a routine search of an apartment in Rue du Dries, believing it to have been used by a terrorist cell.

He was one of three men in the apartment, in hiding since returning to Brussels on 14 November following the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people.

Abdeslam's arrest is believed to have been the trigger for the subsequent attacks on Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station eight days later.

During his high-profile trial in February, Abdeslam first refused to answer questions - and then refused to attend court. He was not present for sentencing on Monday.