French and Belgian police are seeking two new suspects accused of aiding the fugitive suspect from the Paris attacks Salah Abdeslam, the federal prosecutor’s office says.
The two suspects are “armed and dangerous” and are thought to have helped Salah Abdeslam travel to Hungary in September.
Investigators say Salah Abdeslam may have driven the suicide bombers at the Stade de France to their target on the night of the Paris attacks.
The November 13 attacks left 130 people dead and more than 350 wounded.
Salah Abdeslam was stopped at the Hungary-Austria border in September accompanied by two men with fake IDs bearing the names Soufiane Kayal and Samir Bouzid, Belgian police said.
“The Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the investigating judge wish to appeal to the public again to look out for two new suspects the investigators are actively searching for,” the Belgian prosecutor’s statement said.
Salah Abdeslam’s precise role in the attacks remains unclear. There are suggestions he was meant to carry out a suicide attack on the night but decided against it.
The name Soufiane Kayal was used to rent a house searched in November after the Paris attacks.
The identity card of Samir Bouzid was used to transfer money to Hasna Aitboulahcen, the cousin of attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, four days after the attacks, police said.
Both Hasna Aitboulahcen and Abdelhamid Abaaoud were killed in a police raid on the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, along with a third, as-yet unidentified person.
On December 4, the Paris cafe La Bonne Biere became the first of the venues targeted during the co-ordinated assaults to reopen its doors.
The US State Department has announced it will tighten travel restrictions on foreigners who visit the country without needing full visas.
About 20 million people from 38 countries enter the United States each year under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
The move has come under increased scrutiny since last month’s attacks in Paris, with lawmakers expressing concern that militants could get into the US.
Under changes that are be submitted to Congress, all countries in the scheme would be asked to issue “e-passports”.
Their registrations would come under greater scrutiny from US agencies, and travelers would also be screened to see if they had traveled to militant-held areas.
The Department of Homeland Security will also ask Congress for additional powers, including increase fines for airlines that fail to verify passport data.
The changes will “enhance our ability to thwart terrorist attempts to travel on lost or stolen passports”, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in Paris, where President Barack Obama is attending UN talks on climate change.
The Visa Waiver Program currently allows people from designated countries to visit the US for 90-day stays without getting a visa.
Several of the suspected perpetrators of the Paris terror attacks were from Belgium and France, which are countries on the list.
World leaders are gathering in Paris amid tight security for a critical UN climate meeting.
The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties, known as COP21, starts on November 30 and will try to craft a long-term deal to limit carbon emissions.
Observers say that the recent terror attacks in Paris will increase the chances of a new agreement.
Around 40,000 people are expected to participate in the event, which runs until December 11.
The gathering of 147 heads of state and government is set to be far bigger than the 115 or so who came to Copenhagen in 2009, the last time the world came close to agreeing a long term deal on climate change.
While many leaders including Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping were always set to attend this conference, the recent violent attacks in Paris have encouraged others to come in an expression of solidarity with the French people.
Unlike at Copenhagen, the French organizers are bringing the leaders in at the start of the conference rather than waiting for them to come in at the end, a tactic which failed spectacularly in the Danish capital.
Delegates are in little doubt that the shadow cast over the city by the attacks will enhance the chances of agreement.
While the mood music around the event is very positive, there are still considerable differences between the parties.
One key problem is what form an agreement will take. The US for instance will not sign up to a legally binding deal as there would be little hope of getting it through a Senate dominated by Republicans.
“We’re looking for an agreement that has broad, really full participation,” said US lead negotiator Todd Stern at a news briefing earlier this week.
“We were quite convinced that an agreement that required actually legally binding targets would have many countries unable to participate.”
Many developing countries fundamentally disagree, as does the European Union.
“We must translate the momentum we have seen on the road to Paris into an ambitious, operational, legally binding agreement,” said EU commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, in a statement.
As well as the form there are also many issues with the content.
There are a wide range of views on what the long-term goal of the agreement should be.
While it will ostensibly come down to keeping temperatures from rising more than 2C above the pre-industrial level, how that will be represented in the text is the subject of much wrangling.
Some countries reject the very notion of 2C and say 1.5C must be the standard. Others want to talk about decarbonising the world by the middle or end of this century.
For major oil producers the very idea is anathema.
While the fact that more than 180 countries have put forward national plans to cut emissions is a major strength of this conference, there are still big questions marks about how to verify those commitments that will actually be carried out.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, was near the Bataclan concert hall during a siege there, French prosecutors say.
Prosecutor Francois Molins said mobile phone data also showed Abdelhamid Abaaoud returned to cafes and restaurants targeted in the attacks.
France’s general prosecutor added there was evidence that Abdelhamid Abaaoud was planning an attack on Paris’s La Defense business district.
Meanwhile an arrest warrant was issued in Belgium for a man named Mohamed Abrini over the attacks.
Francois Molins gave more details of the raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis in which Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed.
As well as Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his cousin Hasna Ait Boulahcen, a third unidentified man died in that raid. Francois Molins said it is believed he was the third attacker in the team that attacked bars and restaurants in the 10th and 11th arrondissements.
Jawad Bendaoud, the man who lent the Saint-Denis flat, has been put under formal investigation for “criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise”.
Also on November 24, Belgian prosecutors said that two days before the attacks, new suspect Mohamed Abrini was seen driving a car with suspect Salah Abdeslam at a petrol station on the highway to Paris.
Mohamed Abrini is described as “dangerous and probably armed”.
Salah Abdeslam is currently the subject of an international manhunt after the attacks which killed 130 people.
The Renault Clio that Mohamed Abrini was seen driving was later used in the attacks, prosecutors say.
Police say he should not be approached by the public.
Belgian prosecutors also said on November 24 that they have also partially identified two other men who have been taken into custody.
They are under suspicion – in the words of a statement – of “participating in the activities of a terrorist group”, and “acts of terrorist murder”.
The men, named as Ali O and Lazez A, are both from the Brussels district of Molenbeek, and both will appear separately in court during the course of this week.
A suicide bomb belt was found on a Paris street following attacks that killed 130 people on November 13.
It is said to resemble belts used by the attackers and was found in a suburb which a suspect is thought to have passed through after the attacks, French police say.
Meanwhile, the US Department of State has issued a worldwide travel alert in response to Paris attacks.
The Belgian capital Brussels remains on high alert. Schools and the metro will stay closed on November 24.
Photo Getty Images
They are due to reopen on November 25 but the highest alert level will continue for at least another week.
Authorities fear attacks like those in Paris may be carried out in Brussels, where at least one Paris attacker lived. Belgian PM Charles Michel warned that the threat remained “imminent”.
French President Francois Hollande is due to meet President Barack Obama in Washington on November 24 as he continues a busy week of international diplomacy during which he will meet all other permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The suspected explosives belt was found in a dustbin on November 23 by street cleaners in the Montrouge district, police say.
Police sources told news agencies it resembled those used in the November 13 attacks. According to AFP news agency, the device lacks a detonator.
It is one of two key pieces of evidence discovered by French police and publicly linked to Salah Abdeslam, one of the main suspects.
Salah Abdeslam’s brother, Brahim, blew himself up during the attacks.
A mobile phone was previously found in an abandoned car he rented. Phone data suggest that on the night of the attacks, Salah Abdeslam was in the area where the belt was later found.
It may be that he planned to detonate the bomb belt but abandoned the plan – either because the belt was malfunctioning or, as his brother Mohamed has suggested, because he had a last-minute change of heart.
A massive manhunt for Salah Abdeslam is continuing in both France and Belgium.
Markit’s latest survey shows how Paris attacks have impacted France’s service sector.
The company said a rapid fall-off in trade was behind its index falling from 52.7 in October to 51.3 in November.
“We think the key reason for the slowing in services growth is due to the attacks,” Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist said.
Markit said 60% of survey responses from services sector companies were received after the 13 November attacks.
The services index remains above 50, meaning that it is continuing to grow, but at a slower pace.
The “flash” manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) rose to a 19-month high, and Chris Williamson said the rest of the survey data suggested “a more encouraging picture of France continuing to lift itself out of its gloom”.
The survey comes after the boss of the industrial conglomerate Siemens warned that the Paris terrorist attacks and political instability in Europe were making companies more reluctant to invest.
Joe Kaeser told the Financial Times: “The biggest economic damage from these attacks is on confidence and confidence is a crucial element in this phase. It is indispensable to help countries exit the crisis.”
Yet overall, European businesses reported the fastest rates of growth in business activity and employment for four and a half years in November, according to Markit.
Its “flash” PMI for the eurozone rose to 54.4 from 53.9 in November – the survey’s fastest rate of expansion since May 2011.
Germany, which saw growth in manufacturing and services accelerate to a three-month high, helped drive the overall index higher.
Chris Williamson said the data put the 19-nation euro area on track for growth of 0.4 to 0.5% in the final quarter of the year.
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi recently indicated he was disappointed with the current rate of growth and suggested policymakers could take fresh action to boost the economy.
The ECB has an inflation target of 2%, but prices in the eurozone have stayed low, with CPI at 0.1% in October.
Sixteen suspects have been arrested in Brussels anti-terror raids, but suspected Paris attacks gunman Salah Abdeslam remains at large, Belgian authorities have said.
Some 22 raids were carried out on November 22 across Brussels and Charleroi, the federal prosecutor’s spokesman said.
Brussels remains on the highest level of terror alert. Universities, schools and the metro system will stay closed on November 23.
More than 130 died and 350 were injured in the Paris attacks 10 days ago.
Police fired two shots at a car during an operation in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, injuring one suspect who was later arrested.
No weapons or explosives were found during the searches on November 22, spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt told a news conference.
French President Francois Hollande said France planned to intensify its air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria.
“We will intensify our strikes, choosing targets that will do the most damage possible to this army of terrorists,” Francois Hollande said.
He kicks off a week of diplomatic efforts to rally support to crush the group: after meeting UK PM David Cameron on November 23, he will meet President Barack Obama on November 24, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on November 25 and Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 26.
The French government says the aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, will be operational in the Mediterranean on November 23 and ready to act against ISIS militants in Syria.
Brussels has been on lockdown all weekend amid a manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of being among the assailants who killed 130 people in Paris on November 13.
Members of Eagles of Death Metal described the horror of the Bataclan concert hall massacre in their first interview since Paris attack.
Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes has recalled the horror he witnessed inside the concert hall as three gunmen opened fire, killing 89 people during the November 13 massacre.
Jesse Hughes said a group of fans who hid in the band’s dressing room were found by the gunmen and killed except for one who hid under Hughes’s leather jacket.
In a clip from the interview with Vice News to be released in full next week, an emotional Jesse Hughes said: “A great reason why so many were killed was because so many people wouldn’t leave their friends. So many people put themselves in front of people.”
“Several people hid in our dressing room,” Jesse Hughes told Vice.com from Venice, California.
“And the killers were able to get in and killed every one of them – except for a kid who was hiding under my leather jacket.”
The assault on the Bataclan concert hall was the deadliest of six coordinated attacks that left 130 people dead in Paris. Among those killed inside the venue were the band’s merchandise manager and three staffers from its record label.
Following the attacks in Paris, EODM canceled the remainder of its European tour and flew back to California.
Five days after Paris attacks, Eagles of Death Metal said in a statement: “While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France. Our thoughts and hearts are first and foremost with our brother Nick Alexander; our record company comrades Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez; and all the friends and fans whose lives were taken in Paris, as well as their friends, families, and loved ones.”
Brussels is extending the highest level of terror alert because of the “serious and imminent” threat of Paris-style attacks, Belgium’s PM Charles Michel has announced.
The prime minister added that universities, schools and the metro would stay shut.
Belgium’s capital has been on lockdown all weekend, amid a manhunt for suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam.
ISIS militants, some of them from Brussels, killed 130 people in Paris on November 13.
Security forces completed several operations in Brussels on Sunday night, the AFP news agency reports. The police had urged the public not to report its movements on social media.
On November 22, PM Charles Michel told reporters in Brussels that the authorities fear “an attack similar to the one in Paris, with several individuals who could also possibly launch several attacks at the same time in multiple locations”.
Earlier, Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said the danger to Belgium was not tied to Salah Abdeslam alone.
“The threat is broader than the one suspected terrorist,” he told Flemish broadcaster VRT.
It was not clear if Jan Jambon was referring to those involved in the Paris attacks, or others who might be planning attacks in Belgium.
Soldiers joined police officers on patrols in Brussels over the weekend. Many public spaces in the usually bustling capital were deserted, as people heeded official warnings to avoid crowds.
The Belgian authorities have so far charged three people with involvement in the Paris attacks, claimed by ISIS.
French media have reported that nine militants carried out the attacks, and seven died on the same night.
One of the men who drove Salah Abdeslam to Belgium told his lawyer that he was dressed in a “big jacket” and may have had a suicide belt.
The lawyer, Carine Couquelet, told French TV this raised questions, including the possibility that Salah Abdeslam may have been supposed to blow himself up in Paris but had had second thoughts.
Friends of Salah Abdeslam told ABC News they had spoken to him on Skype and said he was hiding in Brussels and desperately trying to get to Syria.
They said Salah Abdeslam was caught between European authorities hunting him and ISIS members who were “watching him” and were unhappy that he had not detonated his suicide belt.
French prosecutors have said that a third body has been recovered from the apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis raided by police after last week’s attacks.
They confirmed the body was that of Hasna Aitboulahcen, and was found overnight in a search of the flat following November 18 raid.
Hasna Aitboulahcen, 26, is widely reported to have been the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and blew herself up.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind of Paris attacks, was also killed in the raid.
The near-simultaneous attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen on bars and restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and Stade de France stadium on November 13 killed 129 people and left hundreds of people wounded.
ISIS said it was behind the attacks.
Demonstrations have been banned under France’s state of emergency, but dozens of French artists and cultural figures have urged people to make a lot of “noise and light”, by turning on music and lights, at 21:20 local time on November 20 to mark the exact time a week ago that the attacks began.
Prosecutors have now confirmed the identities of two of the three suspects who died in the seven-hour-long raid in the Rue Cormillon apartment on November 18.
The prosecutor’s office said Hasna Aitboulahcen’s passport was found near her body.
News that Abdelhamid Abaaoud – a well-known face of ISIS and on international “most wanted” lists – and at least one of his accomplices may have travelled undetected from Syria before carrying out the attacks has raised fears about the security of the European Union’s borders.
EU interior ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss tougher measures, including tightening the external borders of the passport-free Schengen area.
France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, on his way into the meeting, said the EU had “wasted too much time on a number of urgent issues” and hoped “today takes the decisions that we must take”.
A draft resolution for today’s EU meeting says ministers will agree to implement “necessary systematic and co-ordinated checks at external borders, including on individuals enjoying the right of free movement”.
This means EU citizens, along with non-EU citizens, will have their passports routinely checked against a database of known or suspected terrorists and those involved in organized crime.
Ministers will also consider cracking down on the movement of firearms within the EU, the collection of passenger data for those taking internal flights and also blocking funding for terrorists.
ISIS militant Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of last week’s attacks in Paris, was among those killed in a French police raid on November 18, prosecutors say.
French prosecutors confirmed Belgian citizen Abdelhamid Abaaoud had died in a flat in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud’s body was found riddled with bullets and shrapnel in the apartment.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he had received intelligence that Abdelhamid Abaaoud passed through Greece on his return from Syria.
It is unclear whether Abdelhamid Abaaoud had concealed himself among the thousands of refugees arriving in Greece before heading for other EU nations.
One of the other dead Paris attackers, who blew himself up at the Stade de France stadium, was traced to Greece by his fingerprints, where he was registered as a refugee.
In another development, nine arrests were made in Belgium after searches in connection with Paris attacks, and police carried out new searches in France.
Confirming Abdelhamid Abaaoud left for Syria last year, Bernard Cazeneuve said no EU states had signaled his return.
The minister also implicated Abdelhamid Abaaoud in four out of six attacks foiled in France since this spring.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 28, was linked to a plot in April to attack a church near Paris and police are also investigating a possible connection to the attack on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris in August.
In Belgium, Abdelhamid Abaaoud had links to an Islamist cell broken up by security forces in the town of Verviers in January, with the deaths of two gunmen.
He was identified from his fingerprints.
Paris attacks left 129 people dead and hundreds injured.
Eight people were arrested and at least two killed in the raid on the property in Saint Denis. Heavily armed police stormed the building after a tip-off that Abdelhamid Abaaoud was in Paris.
A woman at the flat – reported in French media to be Abdelhamid Abaaoud’s cousin – died during the raid after activating a suicide vest.
The prosecutor’s office said it was still unclear whether Abdelhamid Abaaoud had blown himself up or not.
Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters that a non-EU state had alerted France on November 9 that Abdelhamid Abaaoud had been in Greece.
Donald Trump has said he would be open to having a “Muslim database” in the US in the wake of the Paris attacks.
The Republican presidential hopeful said in an interview with Yahoo Politics that he would consider “drastic measures” for monitoring the community.
Asked if that may include registering Muslims in a database or using special ID cards, Donald Trump did not rule it out.
ISIS militants said they carried out the attacks in Paris.
The suicide bombs and shootings at various venues across Paris killed 129 people on November 13.
“We’re going to have to do things we never did before,” said Donald Trump, a frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House.
“And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling security is going to rule.”
Donald Trump told Yahoo Politics certain things would have to be done “that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy.”
The US is going to have to do certain things that were “frankly unthinkable a year ago,” said Donald Trumo, who has previously said mosques should come under surveillance and Syrians should be deported.
Dozens of state governors and Republican lawmakers have called for a halt to the processing of Syrian refugees into the US.
One of the suicide bombers in Paris is thought to have entered Europe with refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.
A bill tightening the vetting restrictions is due to come before Congress on November 19.
This week, President Barack Obama criticized Republicans as hysterical and un-American for saying the US should not accept Muslim refugees.
France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned that his country could face chemical or biological attack from terror groups, as lawmakers debate the state of emergency extension following last week’s attacks in Paris.
Belgian police have meanwhile raided properties linked to suspected Paris attackers Bilal Hadfi and Salah Abdeslam.
Seven raids took place in and around Brussels, and one person was detained, Belgian media reported.
November 13 attacks in Paris killed 129 people.
PM Manuel Valls was addressing France’s lower house of parliament before its deputies voted to extend the state of emergency by three months.
He told lawmakers that “terrorism hit France, not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria … but for what it is”.
“What is new are the ways of operating; the ways of attacking and killing are evolving all the time,” Manuel Valls said.
“The macabre imagination of those giving the orders is unlimited. Assault rifles, beheadings, suicide bombers, knives or all of these at once.”
Manuel Valls also called for Europe to adopt measures on sharing information about airline passengers as a way of protecting collective security.
French police officers will be allowed to carry their weapons while off duty as long as they wear an armband to identify them, under a police directive issued to coincide with the state of emergency.
Paris police have extended their ban on gatherings and demonstrations until midnight on November 22, although they will be allowed at the various sites attacked on November 13.
It remains unclear whether the suspected ringleader of the attacks was killed in yesterday’s raid in Paris.
French authorities say the raid on a flat in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis foiled another attack, reportedly planned for the La Defense business quarter of western Paris.
Eight people were arrested in the raid, in which police fired over 5,000 rounds of ammunition, but those arrested did not include Abdelhamid Abaaoud – suspected of being the man who organized the Paris attacks.
At least two people were killed in the raid, one of them a woman who blew herself up with a suicide vest.
She is widely reported to be Hasna Aitboulachen, a cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Further attacks by ISIS were likely elsewhere in Europe, according to the head of the EU’s law enforcement agency Europol.
The members of American rock band Eagles of Death Metal, whose concert at the Bataclan concert hall was stormed during last week’s Paris attacks, have made their first statement since returning to the US.
The rockers said: “While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France.”
Eagles of Death Metal (EODM) members said they were “bonded in grief with the victims, the fans… and all those affected by terrorism”.
Gunmen killed 89 people at the band’s gig at the Bataclan concert hall.
Among those who died were Nick Alexander, a man selling merchandise at the venue, and three employees of the band’s record company.
“Our thoughts and hearts are first and foremost with our brother Nick Alexander, our record company comrades Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez, and all the friends and fans whose lives were taken in Paris, as well as their friends, families, and loved ones,” Eagles of Death Metal’s statement reads.
“Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion.
“We would like to thank the French police, the FBI, the US and French State Departments, and especially all those at ground zero with us who helped each other as best they could during this unimaginable ordeal, proving once again that love overshadows evil.
“All EODM shows are on hold until further notice.”
Eagles of Death Metal members escaped uninjured in the attack on the Bataclan, part of an orchestrated series of gun and bomb attacks that left 129 dead.
Two people have died during a police raid on a flat in Paris suburb Saint-Denis, while seven arrests were made.
A woman has blown herself up and a suspect was shot dead.
Police targeted the flat in Saint-Denis in a search for Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of last week’s attacks in Paris, when 129 people were killed.
The fate of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, previously thought to be in Syria, is still unclear.
A government spokesman said remains of a third body may be under the rubble.
Prosecutor Francois Molins announced earlier that intelligence indicated Abdelhamid Abaaoud was in Paris.
All victims of the attacks – which targeted a concert hall, cafes and the Stade de France stadium and were claimed by ISIS – have now been identified, the government said.
The operation in Saint-Denis – where the Stade de France is located – began at 04:20 local time.
Speaking from the scene afterwards, Francois Molins said it had been ordered after phone taps and surveillance operations suggested Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, could be there.
The prosecutor said a young woman – said by France’s BFMTV to be a relative of Abdelhamid Abaaoud – had detonated her explosives belt soon after the raid began.
Another suspect was killed by grenades and police bullets, Francois Molins said.
The spokesman for the French interior ministry, Pierre-Henry Brandet, later told French TV station BFMTV that work was being done to establish whether the remains of a “third terrorist” were buried in the rubble.
Five members of the RAID police anti-terrorism unit were lightly injured while a RAID “assault dog”, a seven-year-old Belgian Shepherd called Diesel, was killed.
Three men were arrested in the apartment. Two others were found hiding in rubble and a further two – including the man who provided the lodging – were also detained, he said.
He did not give the identities of those detained.
As the operation got under way, roads were blocked off around Rue de la Republique in Saint-Denis, by truck-loads of soldiers and armed police.
Local residents, who were urged to stay indoors, spoke of hearing continuous gunshots and large explosions.
Amine Guizani told the Associated Press: “They were shooting for an hour, non-stop. There were grenades. It was going, stopping, Kalashnikovs, starting again.”
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve praised the security forces for operating “under fire for a number of hours in conditions that we have never seen before today”.
At least one person died as French police have raided a flat in the north Paris suburb of Saint-Denis in an operation linked to last week’s attacks.
A female suspect blew herself up with a suicide belt, a prosecutor says. Some reports suggest two suspects died. There were explosions and gunfire in the operation, which is continuing.
Five people have also been arrested.
The focus of the operation is Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the ISIS-claimed attacks that killed 129 people in Paris on November 13.
Roads have been blocked off around Rue de la Republique in Saint-Denis, in the same district as the Stade de France where suicide attackers detonated bombs.
Truckloads of soldiers joined armed police at the scene.
At least five people were believed to have been in the targeted third floor flat in Rue de La Republique, French media report.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the raid started at 04:20 local time and was still ongoing.
A woman inside the apartment set off an explosives vest at the beginning of the raid and died.
Three men who were also in the apartment have been detained by anti-terrorist police.
A man and a woman were stopped and detained close to the apartment, police said.
There are unconfirmed reports that one person remains holed up in the flat. Other unconfirmed reports have put the death toll at between two and three.
Several police officers are reported to have been wounded in the operation.
Earlier, Deputy Mayor Stephane Peu urged local residents to stay indoors, saying “it is not a new attack but a police intervention”.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin, had been thought to have organized last week’s attacks from Syria, but is now believed to have been one of those in the St Denis apartment.
Security sources have said surveillance video showed a possible ninth assailant during the attacks.
The video reportedly shows a third figure in the car carrying the group which attacked several bars and restaurants.
It is not clear if this ninth attacker is one of two suspected accomplices detained in Belgium or is someone still on the run.
French police have been searching premises they believe were used by the last week’s attackers in Paris.
Salah Abdeslam, the suspected eighth gunman who is now the subject of an international manhunt, rented out an apartment and two hotel rooms.
A car that Salah Abdeslam rented which may have been used to bring the attackers to and from Belgium is also being inspected.
ISIS says it carried out the multiple attacks in which 129 people died.
A Belgian-registered black Renault Clio was found parked near Montmartre in northern Paris. After police sealed off the area and ensured there was no booby-trap, the vehicle was towed away for forensic examination.
Images shown on French media of one of the hotel rooms being examined show syringes and tubes which could be bomb-making equipment.
Salah Abdeslam is believed to have fled across the border to his native Belgium. Belgian police have released more pictures of him.
On November 17, French media reported that a French jihadist, Fabien Clain, had been identified as the voice in a recording issued by ISIS in which it said it had carried out the attacks.
As the investigation continues, and in an effort to prevent more attacks, France has mobilized 115,000 security personnel, according to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
Meanwhile, Belgium’s government has raised its terror threat level because of the failure so far to arrest Salah Abdeslam.
German media reported three arrests near Aachen, on the Belgian border, in an operation linked to the attacks.
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