Saint Denis Siege: 2 Dead, 7 Arrested on Paris over 'New Major Attack'
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian man thought to be the mastermind behind Friday's deadly attacks in Paris, was the target of a police operation in the Saint Denis suburb in northern Paris, police have told AFP.
Reports have now emerged that the group of suspects that had been pinned down in two Saint Denis apartments was about to carry out a second major terror attack.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who arrived at the scene, told reporters seven people had been arrested and two killed in the raid, but added their identity could not be disclosed for the moment.
Those killed include a woman who blew herself up and a man hit by a grenade. Earlier reports had suggested up to three suspects might have been among the dead.
Five police officers were wounded and a police dog was killed during seven-hour raid.
Police activity, after winding down for two hours, is still underway in Saint Denis, after a man who admitted to having let in two tenants for a couple of days that are believed to have been involved in the Paris attacks.
There has been no immediate confirmation whether Abaaoud was among the three suspected terrorists who died in the operation or was among the other three detained. According to sources cited by CNN, the raid was targeting two apartments on the same street and was also based on information a new attack was being prepared.
Most media reports suggest Abaaoud was not among the seven people arrested and that his whereabouts are not known to police.
In the words of Cazeneuve, it was intelligence that had led police to one of the apartments, suggesting Abaaoud might be there.
Until now Abbaoud, who is of Moroccan descent, was thought to be in the Middle East.
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