Mastermind killed in Saint-Denis raid
PARIS: The Islamic State fighter suspected of masterminding the Paris attacks was killed during a major police raid, prosecutors confirmed on Thursday, marking a major victory in what President Francois Hollande had called a ‘war’ with the Sunni militant group.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls broke the news in Parliament to applause from lawmakers who voted to extend the country’s state of emergency for another three months after Valls warned that terrorists may use chemical or biological weapons to launch further attacks on the country.
Belgium-born Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed in Wednesday morning’s assault by elite police units on an apartment in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, which left at least two persons dead, including a female suicide bomber who reportedly blew herself up.
Handprint analysis was used to identify 27-year-old Abaaoud’s body, which was found riddled with bullets and shrapnels in the rubble of the shattered building after officers rained fire and grenades on the jihadists in a seven-hour siege. “Abdelhamid Abaaoud has just been formally identified... as having been killed during the raid,” the Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Eight persons were arrested after the raid.
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