Two Terrorists Dead, Seven Arrested In Early Morning Raids In St Denis

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UNILAD epa56369 Two Terrorists Dead, Seven Arrested In Early Morning Raids In St DenisEPA

French police have been conducting early morning raids in the northern Paris suburb of St Denis.

According to the Associated Press there have now been seven arrests, although only three of the people arrested were in the apartment that was the focus of the raids.

There’s also been at least two confirmed deaths. A female terrorist blew herself up using a suicide belt, and a man who was wanted in connection with Friday’s attacks was shot by a police sniper.

The army was also deployed on the streets.

UNILAD Francois MoriAP94242 Two Terrorists Dead, Seven Arrested In Early Morning Raids In St DenisFrancois Mori/AP

Police sources told French media and AFP that they were targeting the supposed mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud, as well as Salah Abdeslam – the subject of a Europe-wide manhunt – and another terrorist believed to be a ninth attacker from Friday’s mass killings, The Guardian reported.

At the moment there is no confirmation that any of these people have been arrested, or were even in the apartment.

UNILAD AFP79735 Two Terrorists Dead, Seven Arrested In Early Morning Raids In St DenisAFP

The man who rented out the apartment is among those arrested, he spoke to AFP ‘on condition of anonymity before being handcuffed and led away by police’, saying:

A friend asked me to put up two of his friends for a few days. I said that there was no mattress, they told me ‘it’s not a problem’, they just wanted water and to pray.

I was asked to do a favour, I did a favour. I didn’t know they were terrorists.

The raids began at about 4.30am, and involved heavy shooting, automatic gunfire and explosives – at least seven explosions were heard by local residents, who were told to stay in their homes.

French broadcaster BMFTV spoke to Sabrine, who lives with her son beneath the house that was raided. She said:

I awoke to an explosion. After that I heard gun shots and there was lots of shooting. The terrorists were fighting at the police and the police were firing back.

There were shots, explosions. We didn’t know where to go. My son and I were in panic. There was dust falling from the ceiling because of the explosions. I kept shouting, ‘If you’re from the police, please help me. I’m here with my baby.’

But they kept shooting and shooting.

Five police officers suffered slight injuries during the raid.

And a police dog was killed, a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois called Diesel.

The operation is now over, French media has reported.

UNILAD Yoan ValatEPA84192 Two Terrorists Dead, Seven Arrested In Early Morning Raids In St DenisYoan Valat/EPA

Fresh reports from Syria claim over 30 ISIS militants have been killed in the past three days, since France began its bombing campaign on the self-declared Islamic State capital of Raqqa, according to the BBC.


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