Violence has erupted early Wednesday morning in northern Paris as French security forces searched for suspects thought to be involved in Friday’s terrorist attacks that left 129 dead and many more wounded.
Two people have been confirmed dead and seven have been arrested after French police raided an apartment in the suburb of Saint-Denis.
Police were looking for terrorist organizer Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old Belgian, who is thought to have been involved with masterminding the Paris attacks. The operation began at 10:20 pm eastern standard time.
Speaking to the Associated Press, local resident Amine Guizani said, “they were shooting for an hour, non-stop. There were grenades. It was going, stopping, Kalashnikovs, starting again.
After seven hours, the raid came to end as one woman blowing herself up with a suicide vest. The woman is thought to be a relative of Abaaoud. Another suspect was killed by French police using grenades and firearms.
Several French police officers were injured, but none was killed. French police posted an image of a police dog when they announced their dog Diesel had lost his life in the raid. In total, around 110 people from the French security services were involved in the operation. It is not yet clear whether Abdelhamid Abaaoud has been taken into custody.
Paris prosecutor, François Molins told the press “it is currently impossible to give you the identities of the people who were arrested, which are being verified.”
The apartment was less than two kilometers from the Stade de France, which was targeted by terrorists on Friday. European nations are on a state of high alert in the wake of the attacks with a friendly football match between Germany and the Netherlands canceled on Tuesday evening after concrete evidence of a bomb threat was discovered.