At least two suspects believed to be connected to last Friday’s attacks in Paris, France, have been killed and three arrests have been made in Saint-Dennis, a suburb just north of Paris, according to CBS News.
Police raided an apartment in search of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the man believed to be the mastermind behind last week’s Paris Attacks, which left “400 people wounded, with 221 still in the hospital, 57 of them in intensive care,” per BBC.
Instead of finding Abaaoud right away, police engaged in a bloody gunfight with several suspects inside the apartment. A report from the Daily Mail says that as many as four police officers have been injured, and it’s possible an innocent civilian was killed in the crossfire.
The raid began at 4:30 a.m. local time.
One woman, armed with a suicide belt, blew herself up after shooting an AK-47 at the police, per the Daily Mail’s report. Another jihadist was also killed in the exchange. Police have reportedly yet to capture Abaaoud, but they do believe he is in the apartment.
It is believed that not only is Abaaoud inside the apartment, but Salah Abdeslam, who is being sought after in a national manhunt is also believed to be in the same third-floor apartment, located in Rue de La Republique.
As many as 100 police officers are reportedly gathered around the apartment with the intent of capturing Abaaoud.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) November 18, 2015
The Daily Mail noted that Abdeslam was last seen trying to enter Belgium, just after he and eight other gunmen killed nearly 130 innocent civilians. The Inquisitr previously reported that as many as 20 people may have been involved in the attacks.
Benson Hoi, who lives just 100 meters away from the apartment spoke to Daily Mail about what he heard and witnessed as police instructed residents to stay away from their windows.
“I am right next to the scene and at the moment I can see about 100 police officers, soldiers, and at least 50 police cars. After about 15 minutes of panicking I decided to live stream what was happening outside so the world could see what was happening.”
According to Hoi’s eyewitness account, there were approximately seven explosions. People were reportedly leaving their residence to see what was going on, only to be instructed to return to their apartments by the authorities.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) November 18, 2015
Hoi added that he’s following orders from the police but is still worried that his life may be in danger as the standoff continues.
“For the sake of common sense I’m staying away from the windows, but I do not feel safe.”
Baptiste Marie, 26, who lives close to the scene also spoke about the bevy of audible explosions that she heard.
“It started with an explosion. Then there was a second big explosion. Then two more explosions. There was an hour of gunfire,” Marie told the Daily Mail.
Another resident, 21-year-old Amin Guizani also spoke to the Daily Mail and said: ‘There were grenades. It was going, stopping. Kalashnikovs. Starting again’.
Via BBC, Deputy Mayor Stephane Peu issued a warning to everybody in the area, telling them to stay indoors for their own safety. However, he did say this new development “is not a new attack but a police intervention.”
The mayor of Saint-Dennis, Didier Paillard, has informed the public that there is no access into the suburb as all transportation is closed, the Daily Mail noted. Also, school has been canceled as police continue their search for the people responsible for last week’s attacks.
[Image by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images]