More than 100 French police and special forces stormed a flat in Saint-Denis, a Paris suburb, where seven jihadi terrorists were hiding. The French police have confirmed that two of the terrorists were killed in the raid, including one female with “long blonde hair” who blew herself up. Five police officers were injured during the raid and a bomb-sniffing police dog named Diesel was killed.
Police note that 27-year-old Paris terror attack mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud was believed to be in the flat when the raid began, but authorities did not disclose if he was one of the people killed or arrested. New reports indicate that the raid thwarted the terrorist cell’s plans to attack Charles de Gaulle airport and the Quatre Temps shopping center in the city’s business district in an attack the group hoped would be similar to the horrifying Paris attack on November 13 that left 129 people dead and over 300 injured.
The Daily Mail reports that two terrorists are dead and others arrested after police raided a flat in Saint-Denis outside of Paris. The police operation began in at approximately 4:25 a.m. as SWAT teams and special forces surrounded the flat. Almost immediately, witnesses in the area and residents nearby identified the sounds of heavy gunfire and explosions in the neighborhood. The police blocked off the Saint-Denis area, and gunfire was exchanged throughout the night. Videos of the siege were captured by residents in the area and showcase the amount of gunfire that was being exchanged during the event.
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Police also checked nearby shops and businesses in the area.
Another video shows a half-naked man being hauled away from the scene by police.
Police report that seven people in total were arrested in the raid, including five from the flat and two others from a nearby shopping center. The seven arrests are in addition to the two terrorists who were killed during the siege.
The nine terrorists were allegedly part of a cell planning an attack on the Charles de Gaulle airport in coordination with an attack at a shopping center in the business district. The coordinated attack was planned to resemble that of the deadly attack on the Bataclan, Stade de France, and restaurants that occurred last Friday that left 129 people dead. The terrorist’s planned to attack the airport and shopping center with AK-47s and bombs.
However, the plans were thwarted as police tapped phone lines and patrolled the flats in the days following the deadly Paris attacks. It is noted that during the raid, a female terrorist blew herself up and another terrorist was killed by a grenade. Eventually, the five others in the flat were arrested with the final arrest taking place at 10:24 a.m. when the half-naked suspect was taken from the home by police. Meanwhile, two other jihadi suspects were arrested at a nearby shopping center as police combed the area for more suspects.
French police noted that five police officers were injured during the gunfight, including one who was shot in the foot. Sadly, a police bomb-sniffing dog named Diesel also lost his life during the raid after he was killed when the female terrorist blew herself up. The video below shows one of the officers in full gear as he limps away from the raid scene with assistance.
Witnesses to the horrifying police raid and subsequent gunfight say they feared for their lives as they huddled in their homes. Baptiste Marie, a 26-year-old journalist, says that residents were told to stay away from their windows and pushed back into their flats if they attempted to leave. Marie says that the siege began with large explosions and then an hour of gunfights.
“It started with an explosion. Then there was second big explosion. Then two more explosions. There was an hour of gunfire.”
The raid is reportedly over, but heavy police presence has still been noted in the area.
[Image via AP Photo/Francois Mori]