PARIS: At least two people holed up in an apartment north of Paris died during a police siege on Wednesday (Nov 18), including a woman who detonated an explosives vest, according to police sources.
Earlier, a source said the operation aimed at the suspected mastermind of the attacks, Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and at least three police had been wounded in the anti-terrorist police operation following the bloody attacks on Paris last Friday.
Shooting broke out Wednesday in northern Paris during a dawn raid by police hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago, sources said.
Several police were wounded in the anti-terrorism raid, said a source close to the operation, which began before dawn in the suburb of Saint Denis.
Police sources said several unidentified men were still holed up in an apartment as the operation continued at 06:15 am (0515 GMT).
The area is home to the Stade de France, one of several places hit by gunmen and suicide bombers on Friday in the worst ever attack on French soil, which was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Firemen told AFP they they joined the operation against “an armed group holed up in an apartment” at 04:31 am, without giving any further details, adding that one person was lightly hurt.
The area was closed down and intermittent gunfire could still be heard an hour after it started.
Another source said a special armed response unit took part in the raid, which comes as Europe was on high alert after footage from the scene of one of Friday’s attacks revealed a ninth suspect may have taken part.
It was not clear if this 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 carried out one of the attacks at Bonne Biere cafe along with his suicide-bomber brother Brahim.
French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday will hold a meeting to discuss proposals to extend by three months the state of emergency declared after the worst attacks in French history. It will then be put to vote by lawmakers Thursday and Friday.
In a sign of the nervousness gripping Europe after Friday’s carnage, a football match between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled Tuesday and the crowd evacuated after police acted on a “serious” bomb threat.
As police stepped up the hunt for the fugitives, French and Russian jets pounded IS targets in the group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqa for a third consecutive day. (Channel News Asia / AFP)