Mastermind of Paris attacks killed
Conflicting reports emerged on Thursday on the fate of suspected mastermind of Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, after a massive police raid in the Saint-Denis suburb left at least two dead, including a female suicide bomber.
A report in Washington Post said that the Belgian jihadist Abaaoud had killed himself. The US daily cited two unnamed intelligence French officials, who claimed that forensic experts confirmed the death while combing through the aftermath wreckage at the building after a 7-hour siege.
Abaaoud, who was initially believed to be in Syria, was said to be among the suspects holed up in an apartment in Saint-Denis, which led the French police and army to launch the raid.
Earlier, French ambassador to India Francois Richier said that Abaaoud may have committed suicide during the raid.
He told NDTV, "According to information I have, yes he committed suicide during the operation."
"I have information which leads us to suspect that he committed suicide. I have nothing, no particular documents to say that. That is the first indication we have received."
"We are waiting for final confirmation that Abdelhamid Abaaoud is dead," the ambassador added.
However, a DNA test is expected to provide the final evidence.
However, news agencies Reuter and AFP deny to confirm Abaaoud dead independently.
AFP qouted Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins as saying "I am not able to give you a precise number and identity of those killed. There are at least two dead and verifications will likely take longer than expected."
The body that had sustained a number of gunshots was "not in a state that allows it to be identified", he said.
Molins also revealed incredible details of siege, including how police fired 5,000 munitions as two suspects were killed, with the female suicide bomber believed to be cousin of the main target Abaaoud. Seven people were also arrested in the standoff.
The prosecutor claimed that siege have indeed thwarted a "team of terrorists that... Could have struck" again.
Abaaoud, the 28-year-old Islamic State militant from Brussels of Moroccan origin, allegedly orchestrated the horrific terrorists in the French capital last Friday which killed at least 129 people, and leaving scores injured.