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Authorities Hunt Brussels Bombing Suspect

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Posted at 7:35 AM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 08:48:37-04

Belgian authorities searched Wednesday for a man pictured at the Brussels airport with two apparent suicide bombers, amid growing suggestions that the bombings of the Brussels airport and subway were the work of the same Islamic State cell that attacked Paris last year.

The European Union's capital awoke under guard after 34 people were killed and more than 200 wounded in Tuesday's attacks. The Islamic State group, which was behind the Paris attacks, claimed responsibility for the Brussels bombings.

Belgium is in the midst of three days of mourning, and government offices, schools and residents held a moment of silence Wednesday morning to honor the dead, marking the moment in a mood of defiance mixed with anxiety that others involved in the attacks may still be at large.

Police conducted raids overnight and circulated a photo of three men seen at the airport wheeling trollies that presumably contained explosives-filled suitcases.

Belgian state broadcaster RTBF identified two of the attackers as brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui, and said they are believed to have blown themselves up. According to the report, which did not say who its sources were, Khalid El Bakraoui had rented an apartment that was raided last week in an operation that led authorities to top Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam.

One of the men pictured at the airport is at large. Authorities have not identified him, but Belgian newspaper DH reported that he might be Najim Laachraoui, whom Belgian authorities have been searching for since last week as a suspected accomplice of Abdeslam.