France, Belgium Conducting Massive Manhunt for Paris Attack Suspects

World | November 16, 2015, Monday // 09:45
Bulgaria: France, Belgium Conducting Massive Manhunt for Paris Attack Suspects This undated file photo released Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, by French Police shows 26-year old Salah Abdeslam, who is wanted by police in connection with recent terror attacks in Paris, as police investigations continue. (Police Nationale via AP)

French and Belgian authorities are conducting a large-scale manhunt for suspected perpetrators of Friday's attacks in Paris and alleged accomplices.

Police have named Salah Abdeslam, 26-year-old, born in Brussels as a key suspect, who was reportedly stopped and let go by police officers on in the wake of the attacks.

According to media reports, police investigating the attacks conducted a raid in the Parisian suburb of Bobigny, the BBC informs.

Major police operations also took place in Jeumont, close to the French border with Belgium and in the city of Grenoble, but it is unclear whether these are related to the attacks in the French capital.

Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the gun and bomb attacks, which were conducted by eight men armed with suicide belts and machine guns.

The attacks took place almost simultaneously at six sites across Paris, claiming the lives of 129 people and leaving hundreds injured.

The deadliest attack occurred at the Bataclan concert hall, where many people had been held hostages before security forces stormed the building.

The other attacks were carried out at bars and restaurants as well as near the Stade de France stadium where a friendly football match between France and Germany took place on Friday.

Seven of the attackers died, with most of them blowing themselves up and one killed by security forces.

Abdeslam is said to have rented a VW Polo car, which was found near the Bataclan concert hall and is believed to have been used in the attack.

On Saturday, he was in a vehicle with two other men near the Belgian border when it was stopped by police, but was released after checks.

Abdeslam was described as dangerous and police warn people of not approaching him.

According to some sources, he and one of the attackers were known to Belgian authorities.

Abdeslam is one of the three brothers based in Belgium, who are linked to the attacks in Paris.

One of his brothers, Brahim Abdeslam, is said to have been an attacker who blew himself up outside a bar on the Boulevard Voltaire near Bataclan.

The third brother, Mohammed, was reportedly arrested in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek while returning from Paris.

One of the attackers blowing himself up near the Stade de France also lived in Belgium and was known to Belgian authorities.

Belgian PM Charles Michel said that the efforts of authorities will focus on Molenbeek, which is known as being a haven for jihadists.

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Tags: IS, Charles Michel, Stade de France, Bataclan, manhunt, attack, Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium, Paris, France, Salah Abdeslam

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