police forces
The special federal forces of the Belgian police carried out the raid on Sunday Yves Herman/Reuters

In a raid that lasted five hours, Belgian police arrested two suspects linked to the Paris attacks from the troubled Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels. The arrests, however, did not include that of Salah Abdeslam, the terror suspect wanted in connection with the attacks that left 130 dead in the French capital.

"The suspects have been taken in for questioning," Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the federal prosecutor told AFP. He did not give any more details of who the suspects were or how they were linked to the attack, but local media reported that they may have been brothers.

Officers of Special Forces of the federal police and armoured vehicles had been deployed in the area for almost 19 hours on 20 December. The raid took place a little before 7pm local time, when police used loudspeakers to prompt residents to evacuate their homes at Dansaert in Molenbleek area.

According to Belgian radio station RTBF, an apartment on the sixth floor of a building was raided. The raid lasted until 11.30pm after which residents were allowed to head home and no further searches were reported.

Abdeslam still on the run

Belgian authorities along with French and other European nations have been on an international manhunt for Abdeslam, who according to latest reports, made it past three police checkpoints after friends drove him from Paris to Brussels, hours after the Paris attacks. Authorities also found an explosive laden belt amid a pile of rubbish in the southern Paris district of Montrouge, which they believe was abandoned by Abdeslam who may have backtracked from carrying out the bombing in the last minute.

Meanwhile, Brussels has been in constant lockdown after it was revealed that the Paris attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud belonged to Molenbeek. Besides, with French President Francois Hollande declaring that most of the coordination for the attacks took place in Belgium, security has been stepped up in the capital. So far, eight people have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the terror attacks that were claimed by Islamic State (Isis)