Paris Siege Forestalled Another Attack, Say French Police: 10 Developments

Paris Siege Forestalled Another Attack, Say French Police: 10 Developments

The raid came as Europe was placed on high alert after the deadly Paris attacks.. (Agence France-Press photo)

Paris: After a seven-hour operation to flush out a group of terrorists holed up in Paris suburb St Denis, French ambassador Francois Richier told NDTV that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who allegedly masterminded Friday terror's attacks in Paris, may have committed suicide.

Here are the latest developments:

  1. "We have indications that Abdelhamid Abaaoud may have committed suicide in today's operation," Francois Richier told NDTV. Belgian Abaaoud -- believed to have coordinated the Paris attacks from Syria -- was the target of the raid by elite forces in Saint Denis that took place early on Wednesday.

  2. The French police said the siege also helped forestalled another attack which the group was planning. The French prosecutor said the raid halted the terror unit that was "ready to strike".

  3. Within hours, the Washington Post reported Abaaoud was dead, citing two unnamed intelligence officials.

  4. Reiterating that France is "at war" against terrorism by the Islamic State group, French President Francois Hollande said "What we need to do is to annihilate an army which is a threat to the entire world and not just some countries."

  5. Gunshots erupted at around 4.30 am in the northern Paris suburb, where at least 8 terrorists, including Abaaoud and Salah Abdeslam, were holed up. Abdeslam, 26, is suspected to have carried out the attacks along with his suicide-bomber brother Brahim.

  6. Two terrorists were killed in the raid by the police and army. One of them was a woman, who allegedly blew herself up with a suicide belt. She was believed to be related to Abaaoud. Police arrested eight persons after the raid.

  7. Saint Denis is home to the Stade de France, one of several places targeted by gunmen and suicide bombers on Friday in the worst ever attack on French soil.

  8. The raid came as Europe was placed on high alert after footage from the scene of one of the Paris attacks revealed that a ninth suspect may have been involved. Raids were also carried out in southwestern France, in Ariege, Toulouse and the department of the Haute-Garonne.

  9. Seven terrorists died in the series of attacks on Friday that killed 129 people. Claiming responsibility for the attacks, the Islamic State group said eight men were involved.

  10. The Eagles of Death Metal, a band playing at Bataclan where the worst carnage took place resulting in the deaths of 89 people, has issued a statement expressing regret for the deaths of "brother Nick Alexander, record company comrades Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez, and the friends and fans whose lives were taken in Paris".