- French police and special forces launch operation to storm Saint-Denis flat containing up to six Paris terrorists
- Mastermind behind Friday's massacres, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, believed to be inside the Paris apartment
- Female suicide bomber detonated explosive vest after firing on police while one suspect killed by rooftop sniper
- At least five police have been injured in the ferocious gunfight and the terrorists also shot and killed a police dog
- Wanted man Salah Abdeslam, 26, who had been stopped by police on Belgian border, may also be inside rented flat
- Three people have been taken alive from flat and arrested as well as two others 'nearby' but stand-off is ongoing
- Witnesses told CapitalBay there have been periods of intense machine gun fire and at least seven large explosions
- Man who rented flat to 'two Belgians' is arrested and claims: 'I didn't know they were terrorists. It was a favour'
A female terrorist wearing a suicide vest has blown herself up and another jihadi is dead as more than 100 police and soldiers were today involved in a gunfight with up to six suspected Paris terrorists including the mastermind behind Friday's massacres.
SWAT teams and special forces have surrounded an apartment in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis - close to the Stade de France - in a siege that started at 4.30am this morning.
French media are reporting the architect of the plan that killed 129 people, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, is alive and inside the flat - until now it was thought he was in Syria orchestrating the Paris attacks from ISIS capital Raqqa.
A woman who may be Abaaoud's jihadi bride is said to have fired her AK-47 at police before blowing herself up as an assault squad stormed the apartment block. Survivors of the Bataclan massacre where 89 people died insisted there was a female shooter.
As she tried to kill police this morning a rooftop sniper shot dead another terror suspect through a window. Police have confirmed that three people in the apartment were taken alive and arrested while two others were held 'nearby' with security forces still trying to 'neutralise' more holed-up in the flat.
An innocent person on the street may have been killed in the crossfire and at least five police have been injured in the ferocious gunfight. The terrorists also shot and killed a police dog.
One of the nine suspected massacre shooters Salah Abdeslam, 26, who has been subject to an international manhunt focussed on Belgium, may also be inside.
Teams of armed police appeared on a street outside the Saint-Denis flat before dawn today and then at least three trucks of soldiers and special forces arrived as back up.
Witnesses told MailOnline there have been periods of intense machine gun fire and at least seven large explosions, caused by the suicide bomber and possibly hand grenades, as the siege continues. There are no hostages involved.
Scroll down for video
In their sights: Police move in on the apartment where the female suicide bomber blew herself up after firing an AK-47 machine at officers. At least one other jihadi is also dead since the stand-off started at dawn
Last stand? Anti-terror police officers with bullet-proof shields take up positions behind a bar during the siege in Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, as they stormed a flat containing up to six Paris massacre suspects
Fears: Armed police stop and search a man in the street near the apartment as it emerged that a female suicide bomber has blown herself up and another suspect was killed by a rooftop sniper. There have been five arrests so far
Armed: Police officers take up positions in Saint Denis while surrounding a flat where the Paris killers are believed to be holed up in northern Paris. The siege is ongoing with at least one suspect still holed-up
Dangerous: Police using bullet-proof shields point their guns towards the sieged building as more than 100 police and special forces stormed the block. Four officers have been injured and a police dead was killed
Gun battle: There was a heavy exchange of gunfire during the operation in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis in the early hours of this morning involving specialist anti-terror units and special forces
On high alert: Three men holed up inside the apartment were arrested, while a man and woman were detained near the location of the raid
Wanted men: It has been reported the target of the police siege in Saint-Denis is Abdelhamid Abaaoud (left), thought to be the mastermind behind the Paris attacks and Salah Abdeslam (right), who has been on the run since Friday's attacks and may also be inside
One of the arrested suspects is the man who appears to have rented the flat to the terror cell.
The unnamed suspect, 30, admitted in an interview near the under siege apartment on Rue de Corbillon he handed it over to two men 'who came from Belgium' two days ago.
He said: 'A friend of mine asked me to host two of his buddies for a few days.
'I said there was no mattress, they told me "it's okay", they just wanted water and to pray. My friend said they were from Belgium.
'I was asked to a favour and I said yes. I was not aware that it was terrorists' - moments later police grabbed him and put him in handcuffs. A female friend of his who was also held said she stayed there last week and described it as a 'squat' and said the Belgian men arrived on Monday.
A woman living below the under-siege flat with her young baby described being 'woken up by an explosion'.
She told French broadcaster BMFTV: 'I awoke to an explosion. After that I heard gun shots and there was lots of shooting. The terrorists were fighting at the police and the police were firing back.
There were shots, explosions. We didn’t know where to go. My son and I were in panic. There was dust falling from the ceiling because of the explosions. I kept shouting ‘If you’re from the police, please help me. I’m here with my baby. But they kept shooting and shooting'.
Benson Hoi, 29, a software engineer, lives just 100 metres away from the apartment which is under siege and was woken up by the sound of gunfire at around 4am this morning.
He says he is terrified one of the suspects may blow themselves up, hitting the residents hiding in the surrounding apartments.
Mr Hoi told MailOnline: 'I am right next to the scene and at the moment I can see about 100 police officers, soldiers and at least 50 police cars.'
He said he initially thought fireworks were going off when he was woken by the sound of gunfire, but when he checked Twitter he realised what was happening outside his home.
He said: 'After about 15 minutes of panicking I decided to live stream what was happening outside so the world could see what was happening. Police were telling people to stay away from their windows so i left my phone on the window sill.
'I can still hear police shouting on the street now. I heard seven explosions a few minutes ago.
'At first some people were leaving their apartments to see what was going on, and the police chucked them back into their apartments.'
He said they have not been told anything else, and police are eurging residents to remain inside away from their windows and doors.
He said: 'I'm still worrying for my life. If those people are suicide bombers I'm not exactly safe.
'For the sake of common sense I'm staying away from the windows, but I do not feel safe.'
Baptiste Marie, a 26-year-old journalist who lives near the scene of the stand-off, said: 'It started with an explosion. Then there was second big explosion. Then two more explosions. There was an hour of gunfire'.
Riot police were clearing the streets early Wednesday, pointing guns at curious residents to move them off the roads and telling them to go home.
Mr Marie said the officers seemed nervous - 'you could see it in their eyes, ' he said.
At least 100 police officers and soldiers are understood to have taken part in the operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint Denis
Teams of armed police appeared on a street outside the flat before dawn followed by several trucks of soldiers and special forces as back up
Shots have been being exchanged in the large police operation in Saint-Denis which began early this morning
Operation: Police and the French army (pictured) have surrounded a flat containing suspected Paris terrorists including the mastermind of the attacks
Agence France-Presse reports that the target of the police siege in Saint-Denis is Abdelhamid Abaaoud, thought to be the mastermind behind the Paris attacks. It had been thought that he was in Syria
Residents said they were first woken by an explosion which shook the neighbourhood at about 4am (3am GMT) as police surrounded the flat, although it is not known what led them to the building.
Witnesses say this was followed by an hour of automatic gunfire and explosions as an intense firefight ensued between police and the suspects holed up in the apartment.
Neighbour Amine Guizani said: 'They were shooting for an hour. Nonstop. There were grenades. It was going, stopping. Kalashnikovs. Starting again.'
Teams of armed police appeared on a street outside the Saint-Denis flat before dawn today and then at least three trucks of soldiers and special forces arrived as back up.
Police cordoned off the area nearby, including a pedestrian zone lined with shops and 19th-century apartment buildings, and cleared people from the streets, pointing guns at curious residents to move them off the roads.
Sporadic bangs and blast continued and at 7.30am (6.30am) at least seven explosions shook the centre of Saint-Denis.
A woman who may be Abaaoud's wife is said to have fired her AK-47 at police before blowing herself up with a suicide vest as an assault squad stormed the apartment block.
As she tried to kill police, a rooftop sniper shot dead another terror suspect through a window.
Police have confirmed that three people in the apartment were taken alive and arrested while two others were held nearby.
An innocent person on the street is understood to have been killed in the crossfire and at least four police are believed to have been injured in the firefight.
By 7.30am, the area had fallen quiet, but there continued to be with a heavy police presence as officers secured the area and pursued any further lines of enquiry.
Police say they have raided a number of apartments and several police officers have been hurt
Residents have been told to stay in their homes and away from windows and some have been evacuated
A special armed response unit took part in the raid and several police officers have been hurt
Reports indicate 'two or three men' have barricaded themselves into an apartment in the centre of the suburb, which is currently surrounded by dozens of police cars with a police helicopter overhead
Residents have been told to stay in their homes and away from windows and some have been moved to a temporary shelter in the town hall
French special police forces secure the area as shots are exchanged in Saint-Denis this morning
Armed police and a police helicopter have secured the area surrounding the apartment where two or three men are thought to have barricaded themselves in
Residents have been told to stay in their homes and away from windows and some have been moved to a temporary shelter in the town hall. Police have confirmed that several officers have been hurt.
Caroline Chomienne, who runs a film school, Altermedia, in St Denis, was trapped in the building next to where the assault took place.
'We'd been working all night on a film and my staff had been gone for some time when around 4.20am I heard shooting. Then they became louder and for on an hour it went on - bursts of fire from all sides but also sounds like bombs going off.
'The walls were shaking it was horrific. It was like war. It was Beirut.'
Now the director is thinking of quitting Paris.
'Something like this doesn't surprise me,' she told Le Parisien, 'that terrorists have hidden here. In this district the cellars are full of weapons. Outside there is a dealer every 100mtrs. It's common knowledge around here that people go and come back from Syria with ease. The past year the atmosphere has been awful in the street...it's very hard.'
Since the school was established in 1996 in the centre of Saint-Denis, the area has deteriorated added Caroline.
'At first there was a real mix here, but in recent years people have just been leaving and the handful of young couples who arrive are horrified. After this morning I think we'll have to leave. I don't know if anyone will even come in to work today', she said.
BFMTV and iTele both showed amateur video of the shootings and cited witnesses in the area saying they had heard sporadic gunfire since around 4.30am.
Omar Dati, a 17-year-old student who lives in the area, said: ‘Everybody could hear the shooting very early on. It was like a warzone – the soldiers were dressed in battle gear.
‘The explosions were very loud indeed and we were all terrified we would be shot. We didn’t know where to run.’
PARIS MASSACRE: WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR ABOUT THE DEADLIEST TERROR ATTACK TO HIT EUROPE IN A DECADE
At least 129 people are dead, and another 352 injured, after three teams of jihadis struck the Stade de France football stadium, a handful of bars and cafes, and then finally the Bataclan concert hall.
FIRST TWO ATTACKS: STADE DE FRANCE
The attacks began at 9.20pm at the Stade de France where the French football team was hosting Germany in an international friendly.
The game was being watched by 80,000 spectators, among them was President Francois Hollande who had to be evacuated from the stadium.
Ahmed Almohammad, 25, from Syria approached the stadium with a match ticket. He was turned away from Gate D after being frisked by a security guard.
He backed away from the gate and detonated his vest, killing one other person. A passport was found near his body.
A second suicide bomber, Bilal Hadfi, 20, blew himself up near Gate H at 9.30pm. No one else was reported killed. Hadfi is said to have fought with ISIS in Syria.
THIRD ATTACK: LE PETIT CAMBODGE AND LE CARILLON BAR
At 9.25pm a separate team of gunmen arrived in a Black Seat and attacked diners at popular Cambodian restaurant Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon bar in the trendy Canal Saint-Martin area of eastern Paris, killing 15. The gunmen were using Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles.
Timeline of events: Eight terrorists carried out the devastating attacks on Friday night, leaving 129 people dead and another 352 injured
FOURTH ATTACK: LA CASA NOSTRA PIZZERIA AND LA BELLE EQUIPE BAR
The same unit then drove about 500 yards to La Casa Nostra pizzeria and opened fire on diners on the terrace of the restaurant, killing at least five people.
From there, the militants drove around a mile south-east – apparently past the area of the Bataclan concert venue – to launch another attack, this time on La Belle Equipe bar in Rue de Charonne. At least 19 people died after the terrace was sprayed with bullets at 9.36pm The attackers then drove off.
FIFTH ATTACK: CAFÉ 'COMPTOIR VOLTAIRE'
At 9.40pm, Ibrahim Abdeslam, also known as Brahim, 31, set off a suicide vest inside cafe 'Comptoir Voltaire' on the Boulevard Voltaire and close to the Bataclan theatre. He hired a black Seat car used in the attack, which was found later abandoned with three assault rifles, along with five full magazines. The killers had emptied 11 magazines, firing an estimated 330 rounds.
SIXTH ATTACK: BATACLAN MUSIC HALL
At 9.40pm, the third group (believed to be three men and a woman) armed with AK-47s stormed the Bataclan music hall and began shooting members of the crowd. Survivors claim three blew themselves up and a fourth person was shot dead by police before they could detonate their bomb.
SEVENTH ATTACK: NEAR STADE DE FRANCE
At around 10.15pm a third blast took place near the Stade de France, this time by a McDonald's restaurant on the fringes of the stadium. The boom caused terror among spectators who had already been attempting to flee the stadium following the first two explosions. The attacker who detonated his suicide vest was identified as a 20-year-old French man living in Belgium.
Tearful members of the public view flowers and tributes on the pavement near the scene of the concert hall massacre on Friday
On Saturday morning, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks across Paris, saying 'eight brothers wearing explosive belts and carrying assault rifles' conducted a 'blessed attack on... Crusader France'.
On Saturday morning, the world's most wanted man, Salah Abdeslam is stopped by French police along with two other men as he approached the Belgian border. He is released after he shows his ID and returns to the Jihadi hotspot of Molenbeek in Brussels where he vanishes.
Belgian police launch several anti-terror raids after Abdeslam was identified as having rented a VW Polo used by the Bataclan killers which was found abandoned nearby.
One of the Stade de France suspects was found carrying a Syrian passport under the name Ahmed Almohammad who travelled to France as a migrant through Greece on October 3. Ferry tickets reveal he travelled with another man named as Mohammed Almuhamed.
However, the French minister of justice Christiane Taubira said on Sunday that the passport under the name Ahmed Almohammad was a fake.
Omar Ismaël Mostefai, 29, from Courcouronnes, Paris was also named as a Bataclan suicide bomber. The petty criminal and father-of-one was known to police as a radical and had travelled to Algeria and Syria. He was identified by the fingerprint on a severed digit found after he detonated his suicide belt.
Mostefai is believed to have been radicalised by a Belgian hate preacher of Moroccan descent claimed to have regularly preached at his mosque in South West France. His father, a brother and other family members have been held and are being questioned.
The black Seat Leon used by the terrorists who murdered diners outside the Casa Nostra pizza restaurant and the La Belle Équipe cafe was found abandoned 20 minutes away in Montreuil with three AK-47s and 16 magazines - 11 of them empty.
Seven people were detained in Belgium linked to the atrocities. Five are from the Molenbeek area of Brussels known as a 'den of terrorists'.
Five of those arrested, including Salah and Ibrahim Abdeslams' brother Mohamed have been released without charge. Two others have been charged with unspecified terrorist offences.
Iraqi spies warned the West of an ISIS suicide bomber threat the day before the Paris atrocities, it was revealed on Sunday, as more details of major intelligence failures began to emerge. The US-led coalition in Syria was apparently told by Iraqi security sources that 24 extremists were involved in the terror operation planned in the ISIS capital Raqqa and it would involve 19 attackers including five others including bombmakers and planners. No detail was given of when or where an attack might take place.
It has also emerged that Turkey's authorities foiled a plot to stage a 'Jihadi John revenge attack' in Istanbul - involving a high-profile British jihadist - on the same day as the deadly massacre in Paris.
From as far back as August, France's authorities possessed information that militants were said to be planning attacks on French concert halls after a tip-off was received from a 30-year-old man who was detained on his way back from Syria.
On Sunday night there were 42 people still said to be in intensive care in hospital following Friday's terrorist attacks.
Thousands lined the streets of Paris on Monday for a minute's silence to remember those killed in a wave of attacks on the city on Friday
French and Belgian police are still hunting for three gunmen on the run, including Abdeslam, and an ISIS bombmaker likely to have made the suicide vests.
An international arrest warrant has been issued for Abdeslam, 26, who is accused of renting a Volkswagen Polo used by the suicide bombers.
It emerged on Sunday night that police found Abdeslam near the Belgian border early Saturday but let him go after he showed them his ID card. Officers pulled over the car being driven by Abdeslam on Saturday morning on the A2 motorway between Paris and Brussels. Two other men were also in the car.
At the time, officers in Paris knew that Abdeslam had rented the car used by the killers which had been abandoned near the theatre but the information had not been transmitted to those responsible for conducting the border checks.
On Sunday evening the French defence ministry announced that the country's warplanes had bombed Islamic State's stronghold in Syria's Raqa, destroying a command post and a training camp. Ten fighter jets were involved, dropping 20 bombs.
French and Belgian police conducted 168 pre-dawn anti-terror raids on Monday, including a botched attempt to capture Abdeslam, who is still on the run. The raids took place at addresses in Brussels, Toulouse, Lyon, Grenoble, Calais and two suburbs of Paris. A rocket launcher, flak jackets, several pistols and a Kalashnikov assault rifle were among the cache of weapons seized in Lyon overnight.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 104 people had been placed under house arrest, while 23 suspects were detained for questioning.
The mastermind behind the Paris terror attacks is named as one of ISIS' top executioners, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, who even recruited his 13-year-old brother to fight with him in Syria.
ISIS issue a chilling new video warning that countries taking part in air strikes against Syria will suffer the same fate as Paris and claimed they will attack Washington D.C. next.
French police have discovered a safe house used by the terror gang in the Bobigny suburb of Paris rented three days before the attack.
The Royal Air Force has stuck ISIS targets in northern Iraq as the French continue their air strikes against the Jihadi stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.
A police official says there have been exchanges of gunfire and special SWAT teams are on the scene, which has been blocked off by dozens of police cars and vans
Vote for this ArticleSpread the word
About the Author: Israel Manso
Most Watched Videos
Most Read News
- Format of 2022 World Cup qualifiers for Africa announced
- Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire historic Cocoa floor price to begin in 2020/2021
- ‘I’m really sorry’- Ekuban apologizes to Ghanaians
- 19-year-old Solomon Asuhene is youngest Chartered Accountant
- We'll force Speaker to resign – Fighters
- GCB Bank staff suicide: Colleagues shocked
- 2019 Africa Cup of Nations: Kwesi Appiah puzzled over Black Stars penalty curse
- Supreme Court orders sale of Woyome’s assets
- Don’t learn our bad example - Former Central Bank of Nigeria boss begs Ghana
- Prestea Huni-Valley NDC Commends Gold Fields Ghana Limited.
- Cyber Pirates Target Banks, Telecoms in Ghana – Police Warns
- Luxury Vehicle Tax killing us - Dealers cry out
- NASPA executives applaud Akufo-Addo for rearing for food and jobs programme
- Herve Renard's Morocco beats Ivory Coast to reach last 16
- Disclose money used by Short Commission - Kweku Boahen dares Akufo-Addo
- Innovative NDC Under President John Dramani Mahama Gave Life To The First Class 33km Tarkwa -Damang Asphalt Road
- 6-year-old disabled twin orphans live in abject poverty
- PDS Injects GHC15m To Boost Power Supply In Oti Region
- Parliament Made Changes of Select Committees, Ken Agyepong Chairs Local Govt
- Appiah on potential early exit: You must be prepared for anything
- 31 hotels, lodges and hostels shutdown in Eastern region
- Ethiopian referee Bamlak Weyesa to officiate Ghana-Cameroon clash
- Read judgement: African Court on Human Rights dismisses Woyome case
- Stay away from child labour – Cocoa farmers warned
- "Involve More Women In Peacekeeping Operations"
- Simplify your findings to policymakers – Former Nigerian Governor to economists
- Majority Leader proffers 9 reasons for new chamber
- You’re ‘criminal’; pay your debt – Maurice Ampaw mocks Woyome
- 2019 Africa Cup of Nations: We need VAR in AFCON - Kwesi Appiah
- Ghana signs deal to cut carbon emissions and reduce deforestation
- John Boye’s absence won’t affect the team – Coach Kwasi Appiah
- Illicit drugs worth GHC1million burnt on World Drugs Day
- Ghana ready for Cameroon - Kwadwo Asamoah
- 2012 Election Petition: Sammi Awuku recalls his day in Supreme Court
- NCA Case Lands In Supreme Court
- Kofi Annan ICT Centre, Sunyani Technical Univ collaborate to propel dev’t
- Prestea Huni-valley NADMO Boss Visits Rain Affected Residents At Bepo
- Learn to respect Akufo-Addo or risk going to jail - Irbard chides Manasseh
- Conduct of Economic Fighters League members in Parliament unacceptable – Baako
- Nsapor M/A school abandons school block after rains rip-off roofing
- Heart of Oak to unveil new Umbro jersey today
- Cocoa farmer cooperatives to access direct agrochemicals, other from COCOBOD – CEO