Police Operation Ends in Paris Suburb with 2 Dead, 7 Arrested
TEHRAN (Tasnim)- Two terrorists were killed and seven arrested following a manhunt for those linked to a devastating string of attacks on Paris late on Friday which left 129 dead.
A woman wearing an explosive suicide vest blew herself up Wednesday as heavily armed police tried to storm a suburban Paris apartment where the suspected mastermind of last week's gun and bomb rampage was believed to be holed up, police said.
They said one man was also killed and seven people arrested in the standoff, which began before dawn and continued for more than seven hours, with gunfire and large bangs sporadically ringing out near the apartment building In the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.
Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said just before noon that "the operation is over." The fate of the suspected attacks planner, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was unclear, the Associated Press reported.
Police said a security perimeter around the building remained in place.
A senior police official said he believed Abaaoud, a Belgian ISIL militant, was inside the apartment with five other heavily armed people when the raid started.
Abaaoud was believed to be in Syria after a January police raid in Belgium, but bragged in ISIL propaganda of his ability to move back and forth between Europe and Syria undetected.
The official, who was not authorized to be publicly named according to police rules but is informed routinely about the operation, said scores of police stormed the building and were met with unexpectedly violent resistance.
Another police official not authorized to be publicly named because of police rules said four police officers were injured. No hostages were being held.
A senior police official and the Paris prosecutor's office said SWAT teams arrested seven people in the building. They did not identify them.
French President Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting with senior ministers at the Elysee Palace to monitor the raid.
Residents said an explosion shook the neighborhood shortly after 4 am.
Sporadic bangs and explosions continued, and at 7:30 am at least seven explosions shook the center of Saint-Denis. Associated Press reporters at the scene could hear what sounded like grenade blasts from the direction of the standoff.
Investigators have identified 27-year-old Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, as the chief architect of Friday's attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people and injured 350 others.
Seven attackers died in Friday's attacks, which targeted several bars and restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall, as well as the national stadium. The ISIL group has claimed responsibility for the carnage.