New Delhi: Belgian jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected Paris attacks mastermind, may have committed suicide during pre-dawn raids today by French police at a suburban Paris apartment, according to French Ambassaador to India François Richier.
This undated image made available in the Islamic State’s English-language magazine Dabiq, shows Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is suspected to be the mastermind behind the Paris attacks. Pics/AFP
Abaaoud, the 28-year-old Islamic State militant from Brussels of Moroccan origin, was believed to be inside the apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis with five other heavily armed people when the raids started, according to a French police official.
Police forces operate in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, where the pre-dawn raids were held yesterday.
"According to information I have, yes he committed suicide during the operation," Richier told NDTV.
The Ambassador was asked whether Abaaoud was arrested or killed during the seven-hour raids in the massive hunt for the suspected mastermind of the gun and bomb rampage last Friday in which at least 129 people were killed.
"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," Richier said.
"We are waiting for final confirmation that Abdelhamid Abaaoud is dead," he said.
The Ambassador replied in the affirmative when asked wasn't this a big development.
"Indeed," he responded.
A woman wearing an explosive suicide vest blew herself up today during the raids by heavily armed police.
Police said two men were also killed and seven people arrested in the standoff.
Police said one person was thought to be still inside the apartment, but it wasn't clear who.