2 dead, 7 held in raid for Paris attack mastermind

Two people died on Wednesday and seven were detained when police raided a northern Paris suburb in an attempt to capture the alleged mastermind of last week’s terrorist attacks.

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The dead included a female suicide bomber who set off her explosive vest shortly after the police assault started at 04:20, French prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The body of a man was also later found. He was hit by “projectiles” and grenades, Molins said.

It was not immediately clear if the alleged mastermind, 28-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was among the dead or the seven people who were detained during the raid in the Saint-Denis suburb. The suspects have yet to be identified, according to Molins.

“All will be done to determine who is who,” he said during a visit to the scene once the massive police operation ended after more than seven hours.

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Surveillance, phone conversations and witness statements led police to believe that Abaaoud could be in the apartment, Molins said.

The Belgian of Moroccan origin is suspected of having planned the shootings and bombings that left at least 129 people dead and 352 injured in Paris on Friday.

Abaaoud fought alongside ISIS in Syria and was notoriously recorded in a 2014 video driving a car dragging mutilated bodies. He is also suspected of having masterminded a foiled plot to kill police officers in Belgium in January.

News 24

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