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 gun and bomb rampage was believed to be holed up, police said.
They said one man was also killed and five people arrested in the standoff, which began before dawn and continued more than five hours later. One person remained inside the apartment, but it wasn’t clear who.
A senior police official said he believed Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian Islamic State militant, was inside the apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis with five other heavily armed people when the raid started.
The official, who was not authorized to be publicly named according to police rules but is informed routinely about the operation, said scores of police stormed the building and were met with unexpectedly violent resistance.
Another police official not authorized to be publicly named because of police rules said four police officers were injured. No hostages were being held.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said SWAT teams arrested three people in the apartment. It said they haven’t been identified yet.
Another man and woman were detained near the apartment, the office said in a statement.
French President Francois Hollande held holding an emergency meeting with senior ministers at the Elysee Palace to monitor the raid.
Residents said an explosion shook the neighborhood at about 4 a.m. (0300GMT).