This Article is From Nov 18, 2015

Suspected Paris Attacks Mastermind May Have Committed Suicide in Raid: French Envoy to NDTV

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, was previously thought to be in Syria after fleeing raids in Belgium earlier this year. (File photo)

New Delhi/Paris: There are indications that Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind of the Paris terror attacks, killed himself during the police raid in Saint Denis in the city on Wednesday, the French Ambassador has told NDTV.

"I have information that led us to suspect that he has committed suicide. I do not have any particular documents saying that but that is the first indication we have received," Ambassador Francois Richier said.

"That's the indication we have received, but again we need to wait for confirmation of the outcome of the operation," he added.

Abaaoud, the 28-year-old member of the Islamic State terror group, was believed to be among the suspects who were holed up in an apartment during the seven-hour raid by the French police and army.

Abaaoud was initially believed to be in Syria.
 
Today's raid targeted Abaaoud, said police sources. Gunfire and explosions erupted at around 4.30 am this morning at Saint Denis.

Two terrorists were killed, including a woman who detonated a suicide belt. The woman, say unconfirmed reports, was Abaaoud's relative.

Abaaoud was thought to have pulled the strings from Syria for the attacks that killed 129 people in Paris on Friday.
 
Soldiers flooded into the area and heavily armed police were seen deploying along a street full of shops in the center of the district, while ambulances and fire engines filled the streets.

Some residents were evacuated, some still in their underwear, and authorities warned residents to keep away from windows.

The raid came as Europe was placed on high alert after footage from the scene of one of Friday's attacks in Paris, which killed 129 and injured 350, revealed a ninth suspect may have taken part.