Paris: French police on Wednesday initiated a raid on the Paris attackers and killed the suspected mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the prosecutor’s office said on Thursday.

According to reports, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national of Moroccan origin, was killed when the police raided an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis.

Abaaoud was formally identified by his fingerprints. His body was found riddled with bullets and shrapnel.

More than 5,000 rounds of ammunition were made on the building in Wednesday’s raid to catch Belgian national Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected to be the mastermind of Paris terror attacks, media reported.

Police originally thought Abaaoud was in Syria but their investigation led them to an apartment in Saint Denis. He was killed in the massive gunfight with security forces.

Jean-Michel Fauverge, director of the Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion (Raid) anti-terrorism force, told Le Figaro that officers believed there was one woman and two militants, armed with Kalashnikovs and suicide vests, inside the flat.

Over 110 officers were involved in the police operation that lasted over seven hours. They knew there was a possibility that Abaaoud was present in the flat, however, the fate of Abaaoud in still unclear.

Police used explosives to blast open the door, but it failed to take the occupants off guard and officers were caught in a gunfight. They used cameras on poles to survey the apartment through holes in the ceiling of the flat below.

Abaaoud is ‘accused’ of orchestrating the coordinated Mumbai-style bombings and shootings in the French capital on November 13 that killed 129 people and injured some 350 others.

(With inputs from IANS)

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