[PARIS] Shots were fired in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis as French police conducted an operation related to the terrorist attacks last week, the police said.
A raid was being carried out at an address in the Saint- Denis Basilique district, the police said. Two people have been killed, Le Monde reported. Police have cornered in an apartment an armed group that includes Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind, AFP said. At least three police were wounded in the raid, RTL said.
Five men were barricaded in the apartment and people living in the area have been told to stay indoors and turn off their lights, according to France Info radio. Helicopters circled the area and sporadic shots were being heard, Saint-Denis Mayor Didier Paillard said on France Info. All transport in the area has been halted, he said. Schools in Saint-Denis will be closed today, AFP said.
The attacks on Friday at seven sites in the Paris area killed 129 people and injured more than 300. French police have conducted a dragnet across the country since then, carrying out hundreds of raids and searches.
Arrests were made in Belgium and Germany in recent days as the hunt for attackers and their possible accomplices crossed Europe's borders. While French officials blame Islamic State for the Paris strikes, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday authorities still didn't have the full picture, including the total number of individuals involved.
The country has stepped up bombing of Islamic State targets since Friday, destroying a command center and a training site at the terror group's stronghold in Raqqa, Syria.