By RAPHAEL SATTER and JAMEY KEATEN, Connected Push
SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — A lady donning an explosive suicide vest blew herself up Wednesday as heavily armed law enforcement attempted to storm a suburban Paris apartment exactly where the suspected mastermind of final week’s gun and bomb rampage was thought to be holed up, police stated.
They stated 1 guy was also killed and seven men and women arrested in the standoff, which started just before dawn and continued much more than six hours afterwards, when a loud bang rang out around the streets near the apartment developing.
Police mentioned 1 individual was imagined to be still inside the apartment, but it wasn’t clear who.
A senior police formal stated he thought Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian Islamic Point out militant, was inside of the condominium in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis with 5 other heavily armed men and women when the raid started out.
The official, who was not authorized to be publicly named in accordance to law enforcement guidelines but is knowledgeable routinely about the procedure, mentioned scores of police stormed the developing and have been fulfilled with unexpectedly violent resistance.
An additional police official not licensed to be publicly named because of law enforcement principles mentioned four law enforcement officers were wounded. No hostages were being held.
The Paris prosecutor’s business office stated SWAT teams arrested 3 folks in the condominium. It stated they haven’t been identified however.
Yet another man and female ended up detained close by, the business office said in a statement.
French President Francois Hollande held an unexpected emergency meeting with senior ministers at the Elysee Palace to monitor the raid.
Residents explained an explosion shook the neighborhood shortly following 4 a.m. (0300GMT).
“We guessed it was linked to Friday evening,” mentioned Yves Steux, barman at L’escargot cafe 250 meters (yards) from the assault.”My wife panicked and was frightened and informed me not to depart, but I disregarded her. Life goes on.”
Baptiste Marie, a 26-yr-aged independent journalist who life in the neighborhood, stated a second massive explosion was adopted by “two far more explosions. There was an hour of gunfire.”
One more witness, Amine Guizani, stated he heard the audio of grenades and automated gunfire.
“It was continuous. It failed to end,” he mentioned. “It lasted from 4:20 till 5:30. It was a good hour. I could not say how several shots were fired, but it was almost certainly five hundred. Hundreds, absolutely. There were probably 10 explosions.”
Sporadic bangs and explosions ongoing, and at 7:thirty a.m. (0630GMT) at the very least 7 explosions shook the centre of Saint-Denis. Related Press reporters at the scene could listen to what sounded like grenade blasts from the path of the standoff.
Investigators have recognized 27-yr-old Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, as the chief architect of Friday’s attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people and hurt 350 other people.
A U.S. official briefed on intelligence matters explained Abaaoud was a essential figure in an Islamic State external functions cell that U.S. intelligence companies have been tracking for a lot of months.
Law enforcement vans and hearth vehicles rushed to the scene north of Paris, significantly less than two kilometers (just above a mile) from the Stade de France stadium. 3 suicide bombers blew them selves up Friday near the stadium in the course of an worldwide soccer match with French President Francois Hollande in attendance.
In Saint-Denis on Wednesday, police cordoned off the area nearby, including a pedestrian zone lined with shops and nineteenth-century apartment structures. Riot law enforcement cleared individuals from the streets, pointing guns at curious residents to shift them off the streets.
Saint-Denis is a single of France’s most historic locations. French kings were topped and buried by means of the hundreds of years in its famed basilica, a majestic Gothic church that towers over the region. Right now the district is house to a lively and extremely ethnically assorted populace and sees sporadic stress among police and violent youths.
Saint-Denis Mayor Didier Paillard mentioned public transport was suspended and that colleges in the center of city would not open up Wednesday.
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