Gunfire Erupts in Paris as Police Hunt Fugitives
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Gunfire erupted in a north Paris suburb early on Wednesday as special police forces launched an operation to catch one of the suspects believed to be behind gun and bomb attacks in which 129 people were killed last week, a police source told Reuters.
Friday night's attacks in the French capital, claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Daesh) militants, raised security concerns around the world, with an international soccer match called off in Germany and two Air France flights from the United States diverted.
In Syria, France and Russia bombed targets to punish ISIL for the coordinated Paris massacre and the downing of a Russian airliner over Sinai on Oct. 31.
French TV stations BFMTV and iTele both showed amateur video of Wednesday's early morning shooting and cited witnesses in the area saying they had heard sporadic gunfire since around 4:30 am (0330 GMT), Reuters reported.
BFMTV said some police had been wounded during the operation, which took place near the Stade de France sports stadium, where three suicide bombers detonated their explosive belts and killed a passer-by on Friday.
French prosecutors have identified five of the seven dead assailants from Friday - four Frenchmen and a fifth man who was fingerprinted in Greece among refugees last month.
But they now believe two men directly involved in the assault subsequently escaped.
Late on Tuesday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said two Paris-bound Air France flights were diverted following anonymous bomb threats, and hundreds of passengers and crew were safely removed.
Flight 65, an Airbus A-380 that departed from Los Angeles landed safely in Salt Lake City, where passengers and crew were escorted into the terminal, an FAA spokesman said.
A separate flight that left Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, Flight 55, was diverted to Halifax International Airport in Nova Scotia, Canada, where passengers and crew had also disembarked. The Halifax Airport tweeted that 262 passengers and crew members had been aboard.
In a brief statement, Air France said both flights had been the "subjects of anonymous threats received after their respective take-offs".