A female suicide bomber blew herself up and another two extremists died in a police raid in Paris on Wednesday as explosions and automatic gunfire rang out in an operation targeting the suspected mastermind of last week’s attacks.
The pre-dawn raids in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis turned into an hours-long stand-off between security forces and up to four people holed up in an apartment, near the Stade de France stadium that was attacked by suicide bombers on Friday.
The operation targeted the suspected mastermind of Friday’s deadly attacks in the capital, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, an “ISIS” militant who was previously thought to be in Syria after fleeing raids in his native Belgium earlier this year.
A source close to the investigation said a woman in the apartment had blown herself up and one other person was killed, while police said five people had been arrested. Some residents were evacuated, some still in their underwear and authorities warned residents to keep away from windows.
The raid came as Europe was placed on high alert after footage from the scene of one of Friday’s attacks in Paris, which killed 129 and injured 350, revealed a ninth suspect may have taken part.
It was not clear if the ninth man was one of two suspected accomplices detained in Belgium or was on the run, potentially with 26-year-old fugitive Frenchman Salah Abdeslam who took part in the attacks with his suicide-bomber brother Brahim.
Police also carried out multiple raids in southwestern France, in Ariege, Toulouse and the department of the Haute-Garonne. The operations were part of an anti-terrorism strategy but not directly linked to the Paris attack.
Extending the emergency -French President Francois Hollande will hold discussions Wednesday on extending to three months the state of emergency declared after the worst attacks in French history. Lawmakers will vote on the proposal on Thursday and Friday.
Source: Al-Ahed news