Saint Denis Raid: Suicide Bomber Kills One, Wounds Six During Paris Investigation

By Zack
November 18, 2015 9:21 am Last Updated: November 19, 2015 5:40 am

A woman blew herself up during a French police raid on November 18, killing two and wounding six others.

The suicide bomber detonated a vest as the apartment was stormed, following an exchange of gunfire between her and police in Saint-Denis, France.

The raid was linked to the Paris attacks. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian jihadist who has been called the mastermind of the attacks, was one of the people targeted by the raid, but it’s not clear yet whether he was apprehended. He’s also known as Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud. The suicide bomber was reportedly his cousin, and had been under surveillance for several days.

Saint-Denis is a suburb of the capital city, close to Stade de France, the stadium that was targeted by three suicide bombers late last week.

Eight people were arrested in the raid, including three men inside the apartment and two people found hiding in the rubble.

Five police officers were wounded. An unidentified man was killed by a grenade, while a police dog was also killed. A passerby was also wounded.

Explosions and Gunfire

Veronique Haounoh, 43, was in an apartment across the street with several people across the street and heard “explosions at irregular intervals.”

“We heard so many booms,” she told NBC News. “I’m shaking. We are very scared, I can’t stop crying.”

“We could see bullets flying and laser beams out of the window. There were explosions. You could feel the whole building shake,” added Sabrine, a downstairs neighbor from the apartment that was raided.

The raid took place just before 4:30 a.m. local time.

Hooded police officers detain a man in  Saint-Denis, near Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.  A woman wearing an explosive suicide vest blew herself up Wednesday as heavily armed police tried to storm a suburban Paris apartment where the suspected mastermind of last week's attacks was believed to be holed up, police said. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Hooded police officers detain a man in Saint-Denis, near Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. A woman wearing an explosive suicide vest blew herself up Wednesday as heavily armed police tried to storm a suburban Paris apartment where the suspected mastermind of last week’s attacks was believed to be holed up, police said. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Local Arrested

Local Jawad Ben Dow said that it was actually his apartment that the woman was in.

“Someone asked me to put two people up for three days and I did them a favor, it’s normal,” he said. “I don’t know where they came from I don’t know anything. If I’d known do you think I’d have done it?”

He was later arrested.

Sources told Reuters that the raid stopped a jihadist cell that had been planning an attack on La Fedense, Paris’s business district.

At least two suspects believed to be involved in the attacks are still unaccounted for, including Salah Abdeslam.