Gunfire erupted Wednesday during a raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis that reportedly is targeting the mastermind behind Friday’s attacks in Paris.

French police told news outlets that Wednesday morning’s raid went after Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national who French officials reportedly have identified as the leader of the Paris attack.

Abaaoud is believed to be barricaded in a Saint Denis apartment with several other men, The Associated Press reported. Officials have surrounded the apartment and closed off the area.

Police have been searching for suspects since Friday’s attack, which left at least 129 dead and injured hundreds others.

The raid in the suburban town north of Paris reportedly resulted in at least one death and injured several officers.

Several explosions were heard at the scene of the raid, AP reported.

Residents had been evacuated and placed in shelters in the town hall, French journalist Djamel Mazi said on Twitter.

French newspaper Le Monde reported that at least two people were killed during the raid. A source told the paper that a final confirmation was not possible because the operation was ongoing.

AFP reported at least one person died in the raid.

Several police officers were injured in the gunfire exchange, AP reported.

France Info, a French public radio station, reported that Saint Denis Mayor Didier Paillard said the shooting began at 4:30 a.m. local time.

Paillard told AP that transport had been stopped in the town and schools in the center of town would not open Wednesday.

Ambulances and special SWAT teams are on the scene, AP reported.


Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: