Tamil Diplomat

Paris attacks ‘mastermind’ Abaaoud fate unknown – Molins

The Paris prosecutor has said the fate of the suspected organiser of Friday’s attacks remains unknown after a police raid on a flat ended in bloodshed.

Francois Molins told reporters Abdelhamid Abaaoud was not among eight people arrested during the raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis.

However, human remains found in the rubble of the flat had still to be identified, he said.

A woman blew herself up and another suspect was shot during the raid.

Abaaoud is said to have organised Friday’s gun and bomb attacks in Paris, when 129 people were killed.

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All of the victims of the attacks – which targeted a concert hall, cafes and the Stade de France stadium and were claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS) group – have now been identified, the government says.

Mr Molins said the police operation in Saint Denis had foiled a new attack, stopping a “new terrorist cell” which appeared to be ready to strike.

“At this time, I’m not in a position to give a precise and definitive number for the people who died, nor their identities, but there are at least two dead people,” he added.

Details he gave of the operation in Saint Denis paint a picture of a ferocious battle

  • Police used 5,000 rounds of ammunition
  • The main building targeted was hit so hard it is now at risk of collapse
  • A body was found “riddled with impacts”, which made it impossible to identify for now

Seven men and one woman were arrested, Mr Molins confirmed.

However, Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old French national identified as a suspect in Friday’s attacks, was not among them, he said.(BBC)