A violent, hours-long operation in a Paris suburb ended Wednesday with two suspected terrorists dead, seven detained, new attacks potentially thwarted and further proof, according to French President Francois Hollande, that his country is “at war” with ISIS.
The Saint-Denis raid targeted the purported ringleader of last week’s bloody Paris attacks and came as the suspects were “about to move on some kind of operation,” according to police sources.
• 7:43 a.m. ET: French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday that he would propose a law to legislators to extend by three months the state of emergency that was declared after the Paris attacks. The state of emergency does restrict certain liberties but gives France the means to re-establish citizens’ liberty, Hollande said.
• 7:22 a.m. ET: Hollande said that what happened in Saint-Denis is further confirmation that “we are at war” with ISIS. He said terrorists were targeting France because of its values and place in the world. “Daesh (ISIS) has an army, financial resources, oil resources, and occupies a territory. It has accomplices in Europe. … It commits barbarous massacres,” Hollande said.
• 7:18 a.m. ET: The French President said that Wednesday’s raid in Saint-Denis aimed to “neutralize terrorists.” He lauded the police officers involved who might not have anticipated the violence they’d face, but nonetheless managed to carry out the operation.
• 6:56 a.m. ET: France’s Council of Ministers said in a statement Wednesday that authorities have finished identifying all 129 people killed in last week’s Paris attacks. More than 100 families have collected their loved ones’ remains, according to the council.
• 6:33 a.m. ET: Phone surveillance and testimony helped authorities determine that it was likely that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of last week’s Paris attacks, was in an apartment in Saint-Denis, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said. He did not say whether Abaaoud was among the seven detained or two killed in Wednesday’s raid in the Paris suburb.
• 6:28 a.m. ET: Three people inside one apartment were arrested, one woman blew herself up and another suspected terrorist was killed, according to Molins. Four others, including the person who lent the apartment to the suspected terrorists and his friend, were also taken into custody.
• 6:17 a.m. ET: The Saint-Denis raid focused on two apartments on the same street, a Paris police source said. One of the raids led to the second raid, and one of the locations had been under surveillance since Tuesday, according to the source.
• 6:14 a.m. ET: Air France announced that someone phoned in “anonymous threats” after two of its flights from the United States destined for Paris had taken off. Those threats were later determined to be “false,” according to the airline.
• 5:46 a.m. ET: The police raid is over, French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said.
• 5:24 a.m. ET: The number of terrorist suspects killed in the raid stands at two, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. A police source had earlier told CNN that three suspects were killed. Seven people have been arrested, including three men who were removed from inside the apartment, the prosecutor’s office said.
• 5:24 a.m. ET: The suspects targeted in Saint-Denis were “about to move on some kind of operation,” police sources told CNN, saying the raid was “right on time.”
• 4:48 a.m. ET: Five officers were lightly wounded and a police dog was killed in the raid, according to police.
• 3:07 a.m. ET: A female suspect killed herself at the scene by activating her suicide belt, the prosecutor’s office said.
• 2:16 a.m. ET: One of the terrorist suspects killed was shot by a police sniper, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported. The broadcaster also said a civilian passerby was killed during the operation, though this report later appeared to be unfounded. So, too, did a police source’s comments to CNN that three suspects had been killed.
• 1:32 a.m. ET: A series of explosions is heard in the area. The cause of the blasts wasn’t immediately clear.
Gunfire and explosions shook the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis early Wednesday as heavily armed police stormed a building where suspects linked to Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks were believed to be holed up.
Police blocked off roads before dawn Wednesday and told residents to stay inside in Saint-Denis, a diverse, working-class area that is home to the Stade de France sports arena where three suicide bombings took place Friday.
The situation developed quickly over many hours, but by late morning in Paris, the French government said the siege was over.
Two terrorist suspects have been declared dead, one of them a woman who blew herself up with a suicide belt, according to authorities.
Seven other people were arrested, including three men who were removed from an apartment at the heart of the raid. Five police officers were lightly wounded and a police dog was killed during the operation.