Tuesday 27 September 2016

Third body found after raid on Saint Denis apartment

Published 20/11/2015 | 11:16

The National Assembly is lit with the blue, white and red colours of the French flag in Paris. Reuters/Jacky Naegelen
The National Assembly is lit with the blue, white and red colours of the French flag in Paris. Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

A third body has been found in an apartment raided by police searching for suspects in last week's Paris attacks, prosecutors said.

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The prosecutors' office said in a statement that the body is that of a woman but her identity is unclear.

Authorities earlier identified one of the others killed in Wednesday's raid in Saint-Denis as suspected mastermind of the massacres on Friday, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

The body of Belgian extremist Abaaoud, 27, was found in the building targeted on Wednesday and was identified based on skin samples, the prosecutor's office said.

Abaaoud ended up near Paris after reportedly being in Syria but officials have not said how he managed to travel across so many borders to the French capital.

In addition, authorities have not detailed his exact whereabouts or actions during the deadly rampage that killed 129 people last week in Paris.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said France did not know before last week's deadly attacks that Abaaoud was in Europe, but said he was believed to be behind four of six attacks thwarted since spring by French authorities.

Police have said another woman who died in the police raid was Abaaoud's cousin.

Hasna Aitboulahcen is believed to have detonated a suicide vest in the building after a brief conversation with police officers.

A French security official said Abaaoud was seen on a surveillance camera in the subway at around the time of the shootings and suicide bombings on Friday.

The official said Abaaoud was seen at the Croix de Chavaux metro station in the suburb of Montreuil at 10.14pm on November 13.

Teams of attackers started the violence at 9.20pm at the Stade de France north of Paris, then started firing on Paris cafes a few minutes later.

The metro station where Abaaoud was seen is not far from where police later found a Seat car believed to have been used by the attackers.

Press Association

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