A police drag net in the Paris suburb known as Saint-Denis yielded at least two dead. One of the dead was a woman who killed herself by detonating an explosive device. At least seven explosions were heard during the police operation. Two police officers were wounded in the gun battle. The target of the raid was Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a suspect from the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, which has been described as a “no go” area for authorities due to the hostility of the Muslims who reside there. The raid also led to at least two arrests.
The raid commenced at an apartment along the Rue de la Republique. A heavily armed police special operations unit was involved, as well as at least 50 soldiers. Business at the scene began at 4:30 a.m. local time with a loud bang, followed by an exchange of gunfire that lasted approximately 10 minutes. A helicopter was overhead apparently overseeing the operation as the gunfire and explosions continued to unfold.
A cordon was set up around the Place Jean Jaures in Saint Denis, not far from the Basilica Cathedral of Saint Denis, an ancient church were the remains of all but three French monarchs were set to rest. Local residents have been told to shelter in place since some of the suspects are believed to have barricaded themselves in an apartment there. Public transportation in the neighborhood has been suspended. Mathieu Hanotin, a member of the French parliament, told listeners on local radio "Everyone must stay indoors. There are still gunmen holed up in the apartment."
French security forces are looking for at least two persons suspected of being involved in the Friday November 13 attacks that yielded 129 innocent dead and 7 dead terrorists. Several countries in Europe are looking for Salah Abdeslam - a brother of one of the suicide bombers in Paris. A ninth suspect is also believed to be still at large. A CCTV video captured the images of three suspected terrorists shooting calmly into a Paris café, leading French authorities to theorize that a second terrorist may still be at large.
Security measures led to the diversion of two Air France flights on November 17, and the evacuation of a soccer stadium in Hanover. In another raid involving seven suspects near Aachen, Germany, authorities failed to show any results.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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