Suspected mastermind of Paris attacks confirmed dead in raid

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Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is suspected of having organized last week’s deadly terror attacks in the French capital, was killed in Wednesday’s raid on an apartment complex north of Paris, officials have confirmed.

The office of Paris prosecutor François Molins said in a statement that one of the bodies that was found in the apartment complex in Saint-Denis had been positively identified as Abaaoud, who was also known as Abu ‘Umar al-Baljiki among Islamic State fighters. At least two suspects were killed in Wednesday’s raid, though Molins indicated that the final death toll was not yet certain pending a forensic investigation.

“Abdelhamid Abaaoud has just been formally identified, after comparing papillary ridges, as having been killed during the assault lead by RAID on rue du Corbillon in Saint-Denis on the night of 18 November,” the office of Molins said in a brief statement. It provided no information on the identity of the second body or whether any other bodies had been recovered.

Wednesday’s raid in Saint-Denis, just north of Paris, was carried out by members of the anti-terror unit RAID and the elite police unit BRI. The team encountered difficulties when an explosive charge failed to force open a reinforced door, giving the suspects inside the residence time to prepare themselves. More than 5,000 rounds of ammunition were fired during the hours-long operation, during which a woman was blown up with an apparent suicide belt, causing heavy damage.

A total of 136 people were killed during last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, including 129 victims and 7 attackers.

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