Abdelhamid Abaaoud Reportedly Killed By Police During Siege, But Prosecutor Fails To Confirm Militant's Death

Uncertainly surrounds the fate of the mastermind of Friday's Paris attacks. According to The Washington Post, Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed during a police raid in the French capital on Wednesday morning. However, speaking on Wednesday evening, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins refused to confirm Abaaoud's death, stating only that two men had died in the assault.

According to Molins, the militants were holed up in an apartment in the north of the city, and were likely plotting follow up attacks when 100 officers stormed the building in a Saint-Denis suburb. After a seven-hour siege, two men were killed and eight were arrested. The Washington Post reported that Abaaoud was among the dead, a claim based on two forensic experts at the scene.

A body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015

Molins did confirm that neither Abaaoud nor Saleh Abdelsalam, one of the attackers, were among those arrested. Of the people detained, two were found in the rubble, four men were in the apartment and a man and a woman were taken off the street.

Molins said that 5,000 rounds were fired during the battle between militants and police forces, noting that officers found “a total war arsenal” of Kalashnikovs and explosives at the apartment.

If the death of Abaaoud is confirmed, only one suspect from Friday’s attacks will remain at large. Some 129 people were killed and hundreds injured on Friday when extremists attacked cafes, a concert hall and the national stadium in Paris.

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