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Europe

Brussels, Paris attacks ordered buy IS high-ups - Belgian prosecutor

media Belgian police stage an anti-terror operation in Schaerbeek in March Reuters/Vincent Kessler

Belgium's federal prosecutor said Wednesday that the jihadist cell that launched deadly attacks on Paris and Brussels received its orders from "very high" in the Islamic State (IS) armed group command.

Frederic Van Leeuw could not say exactly who gave the orders or whether they sent them from a base in Syria or Iraq, the territory run by IS leader and self-declared caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

He said the command moved around to dodge US-backed strikes.

IS claimed responsibility for the attacks across Paris on 13 November last year that killed 130 people as well as for the suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a metro station on 22 March that killed 32 people.

French and Belgian investigators have identified Osama Atar, a Moroccan-Belgian based in Syria, as one of the coordinators of attacks.

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