Paris attacks: Authorities seek to identify raid bodies

Paris, Nov 19 (IANS) French experts are working to establish whether the suspected ring leader of the November 12 Paris attacks was among those killed in a police raid on a flat in the suburb of Saint Denis, media reports said on Thursday.

Police said Islamic State (IS) operative Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, who is suspected of organising the Paris attacks that killed 129 people around the city on Novermber 13, was the target when officers stormed the flat on Wednesday, BBC reported.

According to various media sources, Abaaoud was killed during the raid.

However, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins earlier said he could not give “a precise and definitive number for the people who died, nor their identities, but there are at least two dead people”.

Gunfire and explosions erupted as police clashed with the terrorist suspects inside the building, leaving parts of it in rubble. By the end of the raid, two suspects and a police dog were dead, eight people were in custody, and five police officers were slightly wounded.

DNA tests are being conducted to determine the identity of the two victims including a woman who detonated her suicide vest.

Telephone communications on a wiretap by French and Belgian security agencies indicated a woman at the third-floor apartment was Abaaoud’s cousin, a Belgian counterterrorism official told CNN.

France is still in a state of emergency.

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