Police in Paris conduct anti-terror raids to flush out extremists behind 13/11 attackshttps://indianexpress.com/photos/picture-gallery-others/police-in-paris-conduct-anti-terror-raids-to-flush-out-extremists-behind-1311-attacks/

Police in Paris conduct anti-terror raids to flush out extremists behind 13/11 attacks

Police in Paris said the operation is targeting the suspected mastermind of last week's (13/11) attacks, believed to be holed up in an apartment in Saint-Denis with several other heavily armed suspects.

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A woman wearing an explosive suicide vest blew herself up today as heavily armed police tried to storm a suburban Paris apartment where the suspected mastermind of last week’s attacks was believed to be holed up, police said.

Police officers take up positions in Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, November 18. (Source: AP)

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Police said one man was also killed and five people arrested in the standoff, which began before dawn and was continuing more than four hours later. One person remained holed up in the apartment.

Police forces prepare in Paris after reports of a shooting in the northern suburb of St. Denis on Wednesday, November 18. (Source: AP)

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A senior police official said he believed Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian Islamic State militant, was inside the apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis with five other heavily armed people.

Soldiers operate in St. Denis, a northern suburb of Paris on Wednesday. (Source: AP)

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The Paris prosecutor’s office said SWAT teams arrested three people in the apartment. It said they haven’t been identified yet. Another man and woman were detained near the apartment, the office said in a statement.

Police forces prepare in Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, November 18. Authorities in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis are telling residents to stay inside during a large police operation near France's national stadium that two officials say is linked to last week's deadly attacks. (Source: AP)

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Residents said an explosion shook the neighborhood at about 4 a.m. (0300GMT). “Then there was second big explosion. Then two more explosions. There was an hour of gunfire,” said Baptiste Marie, a journalist who lives in the neighborhood.

Police forces prepare in St. Denis, a northern suburb of Paris. (Source: AP)

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Another witness, Amine Guizani, said he heard the sound of grenades and automatic gunfire. “They were shooting for an hour. Nonstop. There were grenades. It was going, stopping. Kalashnikovs. Starting again,” Guizani said.

Police forces operate in Saint-Denis on Wednesday, November 18. Police say two suspects in last week's Paris attacks, a man and a woman, have been killed in a police operation north of the capital. Two police officers have been injured in the standoff. Police have said the operation is targeting the suspected mastermind of last week's attacks, believed to be holed up in an apartment in Saint-Denis with several other heavily armed suspects. (Source: AP)

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Sporadic bangs and explosions continued, and at 7:30 a.m. (0630GMT) at least seven explosions shook the center of Saint-Denis. Reporters at the scene could hear what sounded like grenade blasts from the direction of the standoff. Investigators have identified 27-year-old Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, as the chief architect of attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people and injured 350 others.

Soldiers operate in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris on Wednesday. (Source: AP)

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Riot police cleared people from the streets, pointing guns at curious residents to move them off the roads.

Hooded police officers walk in a street of Saint-Denis, near Paris on November 18. A woman wearing an explosive suicide vest blew herself up Wednesday as heavily armed police tried to storm a suburban Paris apartment where the suspected mastermind of last week's attacks was believed to be holed up, police said. (Source: AP)

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Seven attackers died in Friday’s gun-and-bomb rampage through Paris. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the carnage.

A special intervention unit moves towards the scene in Paris suburb Saint-Denis on Wednesday, November 18. Explosions and gunfire rang out early Wednesday as heavily armed police surrounded a suburban Paris apartment in a raid targeting the suspected mastermind of last week's Paris attacks. At least two people were killed and two arrested. (Source: AP)

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French authorities had previously said that at least eight people were directly involved in the bloodshed: seven who died in the attacks and one who got away and slipped across the border to Belgium.

Special police forces walk through Saint-Denis in Paris on Wednesday, November 18. (Source: AP)