French police launched a raid on an apartment building in Saint-Denis, a suburb in northern Paris where they believe the alleged mastermind of Friday’s terrorist attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is holed up with two of the gunmen involved.
Police launched the raid on the area in the hunt for a previously unknown ninth gunman involved in Friday’s attack, which killed 129 people and shocked the world.
CNN reports that some police officers may have been shot and wounded in the assault, which began just before 4.30am local time (2.30pm AEDT). Police have not confirmed the reports.
France Info quotes the Mayor of Saint-Denis, Didier Paillard, as saying exchanges of gunfire did not stop for the next two hours. The latest explosion was heard at around 6.50am (4.50pm AEDT).
France Info also says Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind behind the attacks could be in the Saint-Denis house with four accomplices. One is believed to be the eight suspect, Salah Abdeslam, last seen not long after Friday’s attacks driving towards the Belgian border. The Frenchman was responsible for the attack at Bonne Biere cafe with his suicide-bomber brother, Brahim.
Le Monde reports that two have been killed and a possible third death is unconfirmed. It’s as yet unknown whether suspects, bystanders or police have been killed
AFP reports SWAT teams are targeting “an armed group in an apartment”.
Roads around Place Jean Jaures are blocked and a police helicopter is hovering overhead, not far from the Stade de France where three suicide bombers attempted to get inside the stadium during a soccer match. Police are telling residents to stay indoors and not look out windows.
French police were reviewing video footage from Frida, when it led them to believe there was a ninth person involved, spotted in the back of the car used to gun down customers at Le Carillon bar near the concert hall where more than 100 people were killed.
Three AK-47 rifles were found in the car after it was dumped in another suburb, Montreuil.
The police operation began early Wednesday morning in Paris. Gunfire was heard in Saint-Denis repeatedly since 4.25am local time.
Three terrorists died in the Bataclan concert hall on Friday night after shooting more than 100 patrons, while three suicide bombers died outside the Stade de France, where a soccer friendly was underway between France and Germany.
More to come.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) November 18, 2015
La fusillade recommence. 5h05 matin pic.twitter.com/pYZohgndN2
— Pierre-Marie Fenech (@pmfenech) November 18, 2015
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