Police officers take up positions in Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. 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. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PARIS (AP) — A French police official says a woman wearing an explosive suicide vest has blown herself up in a standoff between police and suspects in last week’s Paris attacks.
The official said she is among two people killed in the ongoing standoff in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. The official, not authorized to be publicly named because of police rules, said four police officers have been injured. No hostages are being held.
Police have said the operation Wednesday is targeting the suspected orchestrator of last week’s attacks, holed up in an apartment in Saint-Denis with other armed people.
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SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — The presumed mastermind of last week’s devastating attacks in Paris — targeted in a police operation in the suburb of Saint-Denis on Wednesday — once bragged about being so slippery he could move undetected between Syria and Belgium, his home country.
Explosions and gunfire rang out as police stormed a building in a Paris suburb where Abdelhamid Abaaoud was believed to be hiding with five other heavily armed people, a senior police official told AP. Authorities said a woman blew herself up and a man was killed. Five people were arrested.
The official was not authorized to be publicly named according to police rules, but is informed routinely about the operation.
SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — 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.
They said one man was also killed and five people arrested in the standoff, which began before dawn and continued more than five hours later. One person remained holed up in the apartment.
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.
The official, who was not authorized to be publicly named according to police rules but is informed routinely about the operation, said scores of police stormed the building and were met with unexpectedly violent resistance.
Another police official not authorized to be publicly named because of police rules said four police officers were injured. No hostages were being held.
Police and Ambulance vans are parked in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. 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. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
An Indian Muslim listens to a speaker during a protest against ISIS, an Islamic State group, and Friday's Paris attacks, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. Multiple attacks across Paris on Friday night have left more than one hundred dead and many more injured. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Highlights from Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
Airstrikes on Raqqa have killed about 33 ISIL fighters
Police operation in St. Denis is over
French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll says a seven-hour police operation north of Paris, targeting the mastermind of the Paris attacks and his accomplices, has ended.
Police say two people were killed in the operation Wednesday including a female suicide bomber, who detonated her explosives. Several police were injured and seven people were arrested.
The fate of the mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud is unclear.
CBS News reports that the gunbattle between French SWAT teams and people inside the building lasted an hour and a half.
The owner of the apartment told French media that said he’d been asked by a friend to let two people stay at his apartment, and that he didn’t know who they were, CBS News reports.
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 gun and bomb rampage was believed to be holed up, police said.
They said one man was also killed and seven people arrested in the standoff, which began before dawn and continued more than six hours later, when a loud bang rang out around the streets near the apartment building.
Turkey detains 8 said to be posing as refugees
Turkey’s state-run news agency says authorities have detained eight people at Istanbul’s main airport who they suspect could be Islamic State militants planning to make their way to Germany, posing as refugees.
The Anadolu Agency said Wednesday the eight arrived in Istanbul from Casablanca, Morocco, and were interviewed by criminal profiling teams at Ataturk Airport. Citing police sources, the agency said one of the suspects had a hand-drawn picture of a planned route from Turkey to Germany, via Greece, Serbia and Hungary.
Anadolu said the eight claimed to be tourists visiting Istanbul but a hotel disputed claims they had reservations there.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Fates of ringleader, fugitive unclear; identities of 2 killed in raid unknown
by The Associated Press
After an hourslong firefight left at least two people dead, French authorities say they have neutralized a terror cell planning to launch a new attack, but that the fate of the man believed to be the mastermind for the Paris attacks remained unclear.
The raid in Saint-Denis had targeted the suspected planner of Friday's attacks, 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the identities of the dead were still being investigated, but that neither Abaaoud nor the fugitive attacker Salah Abdeslam was in custody.
"At this time, I'm not in a position to give a precise and definitive number for the people who died, nor their identities, but there are at least two dead people,'' he told reporters.
Molins said heavily armed police squads initially were thwarted by a reinforced door to the apartment in the Saint-Denis neighborhood north of Paris and faced nearly incessant fire as they worked to enter.
The site of Wednesday's raid is just over a mile (less than two kilometers) from the Stade de France soccer stadium; three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the stadium during an international soccer match Friday.
Molins said the operation began with a pre-dawn shootout and resulted in the arrest of eight people, including two found in the rubble and the man whose apartment was used as the cell's hideaway.
Several police officers were slightly injured and a SWAT team police dog was killed in the operation. The National Police said in a tweet that the 7-year-old Belgian Malinois named Diesel was "killed by errorists.''
Neither Molins nor French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve would say whether some attackers might still be on the loose.
Read more here.
BEIRUT (AP) — The woman who blew herself up with an explosive vest in a suburban Paris apartment during a police operation Wednesday was far from the world’s first female suicide bomber.
While most suicide bombers are men, Islamic militant groups have occasionally deployed women to carry out such attacks. Long before the rise of Islamic radicalism, women suicide bombers were used by leftist and separatist groups in the Arab world and beyond.
Click here for a look at female suicide bombers over the years.
PARIS (AP) — Authorities in Belgium have launched six raids in the Brussels region linked to Paris suicide bomber Bilal Hadfi.
An official in the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said that the raids were taking place in Molenbeek and other areas of Brussels.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.
Bilal Hadfi has been identified as one of three attackers at the Stade de France stadium. The raids are centering on “his entourage,” the official said.
PARIS (AP) — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is warning that the associates of extremists who targeted France last week could use chemical and biological weapons, as he urged Parliament to extend a state of emergency.
Valls presented a bill extending the state of emergency declared after Friday’s attacks for another three months to the lower house of Parliament on Thursday. It goes to the upper house Friday.
Valls said “terrorism hit France, not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria … but for what it is.”
He added, “we know that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons.”