Shooting breaks out during anti-terror manhunt in Paris

Published November 18th, 2015 - 07:15 GMT

Shots have been fired during an anti-terror police operation in a northern suburb of Paris, as police are engaged in a hunt for suspects wanted in connection with recent coordinated terror strikes in the French capital.

The shootout occurred in Saint-Denis on Wednesday in an ongoing operation by special police forces trying to catch a suspect from the Friday attacks in the city, which killed over 130 people.

France-based news channel, BFM TV, said some police members had been wounded during the operation, while firemen said one person had been lightly injured.

Suspects are reportedly still holed up in an apartment in the neighborhood after the shooting, AFP reported, citing police sources.

Police have blocked off the area around Place Jean Jaures in Saint-Denis and ambulances have arrived at the scene.

Terrorists with the militant group of Daesh staged bombings and shootings in several venues across Paris on Friday night, killing at least 132 people and injuring 350 others. The fatalities included 89 people who died when gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert venue and opened fire before blowing themselves up.

Saint-Denis is close to Stade de France, the country’s national stadium, which was the site of one of the Friday attacks.

French President Francois Hollande said on Monday that the country was sending its nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to the Middle East to “totally eliminate” Daesh, which has overrun about a third of Syria and Iraq, where it is tyrannizing the civilian population.

Police vans and fire trucks also rushed to the suburb, while a helicopter loitered overhead.

French prosecutors have identified five assailants from Friday attacks, including four Frenchmen and a fifth man who was fingerprinted in Greece among refugees last month. They believe two men directly involved in the assaults have subsequently escaped.

Investigators have said the Paris attack was planned in Syria and nurtured in Belgium.

The French news agency also reported that today’s police raid is aimed at arresting the suspected mastermind of last week's deadly attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

An unnamed source close to the French investigation has said the 27-year-old “appears to be the brains behind several planned attacks in Europe,” adding that investigators believe he is most likely behind the 132 deaths.


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