UK

Paris Attacker 'May Have Recently Entered Europe Via Refugee Route'

14/11/2015 17:52 GMT | Updated 14/11/2015 19:00 GMT

One of the terrorists who carried out Friday's terror attacks on Paris may have recently entered Europe through Greece, a route used by hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees this year.

The attacker, who was killed alongside seven other perpetrators, was found to have a Syrian passport on him that was used to cross into the European Union through the Greek island of Leros in October, a Greek minister said.

A total of 129 people died on Friday and hundreds were injured, in a series of co-ordinated shooting and bombing attacks on venues including a football stadium a theatre staging a rock concert and a cafe.

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • 129 dead, French prosecutor says, with 352 injured, 99 critically
  • Locations targeted in suicide bombings and shootings
  • 89 slain at Bataclan concert theatre after hostage situation
  • Restaurants, football stadium attacked in night of horror
  • Police leave cancelled and around 1,500 soldiers mobilised
  • French border controls increased, state of emergency declared
  • Seven extremists in three teams carried out attacks, all killed
  • Manhunt under way for accomplices, arrests made in Brussels after police raids
  • David Cameron chairs meeting of Government Cobra committee

But it has not been confirmed that the attacker and the passport holder who passed through Greece are the same person.

Syrian passports are valuable for those seeking asylum in Europe and there has been a growing trade in stolen or fake ones.

The passport belonged to a man born in 1970 and the terrorist carrying it blew himself up during his attack on the Stade De France, where France was playing Germany in a friendly football match.

Greece's Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas said in a statement: "On the case of the Syrian passport found at the scene of the terrorist attack.

"We announce that the passport holder had passed from Leros on October 3, where he was identified based on EU rules... We do not know if the passport was checked by other countries through which the holder likely passed.

"We will continue the painstaking and persistent effort to ensure the security of our country and Europe under difficult circumstances, insisting on complete identification of those arriving."

The other bomber who targeted the stadium was carrying an Egyptian passport, it was reported.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which have killed at least 128 people and were condemned as "an act of war" by French President Francois Hollande.

Three of the eight attackers are believed to have come from the Brussels neighbourhood raided by police on Saturday afternoon. Three people have been arrested in the Belgian capital.

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