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Brussels Jewish museum shooting suspect drops extradition appeal

A French-Algerian man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels has dropped an appeal against his extradition to Belgium, his lawyer said on Friday.

PARIS: A French-Algerian man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels has dropped an appeal against his extradition to Belgium, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, had filed an appeal against a June ruling that ordered his extradition from France, but his lawyer Apolin Pepiezep said he had decided not to go ahead with the challenge.

Pepiezep had until July 7 to file appeal documents but said that after consideration he found the ruling "satisfactory" because it contained guarantees Nemmouche could not be sent to another country from Belgium.

"My client could not be extradited from Belgium to a third state without the agreement of the French authorities," he said.

Nemmouche had feared he could face extradition to Israel for the May 24 killings of a Jewish couple, a Frenchwoman and Belgian man at the museum.

The French courts can now authorise Nemmouche's extradition, which can take place within 10 days of a court order.

The shooting -- the first such attack in Brussels in three decades -- raised fears of a resurgence of anti-Semitic violence in Europe and of terror attacks from foreign fighters returning from Syria.

Nemmouche had spent more than a year fighting with Islamic extremists in Syria.

He was arrested on May 30 in the southern French city of Marseille in a bus coming from Brussels.

A revolver and Kalashnikov rifle were found in his luggage -- similar weapons to those used in the shooting -- as was a portable camera.

A Paris court meanwhile on Friday convicted four men of fighting with Islamic extremists in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

The court sentenced Touhami Tebourski, a 32-year-old Tunisian who fought with the Taliban and is currently in prison in Turkey awaiting extradition to France, to nine years in prison.

Two others in court were sentenced to eight years in prison while a fourth man was tried in absentia and is believed to be on the run in Tunisia.

Five others were convicted of helping to organise their trips abroad and sentenced to between two and five years in prison, in most cases with suspended sentences.

France this week presented a bill aimed at strengthening anti-terrorism laws to stop increasing numbers of extremists from travelling to fight in Syria.

The bill includes foreign travel bans for suspected extremists and tighter laws against online recruitment.

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