French authorities have unleashed a crackdown against Paris attackers on Wednesday. The purported hideouts belonged to the alleged ringleaders who masterminded the carnage. The operation ended with the deaths of two people, while eight more were arrested.
Authorities believe that the ringleader was hiding in the third floor of an apartment at Saint Denis of Northern Paris, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins. But whether he was there when the armed French police started the assault is shrouded in mystery. According to the version of some residents of the region given to CNN, Abdelhamid Abaaoud was recently seen in a nearby mosque. This was the reason behind the raid at that building.
Investigators met fierce resistance from the beginning. A tapped phone call of a relative of the ringleader provoked the police to zero in on the apartment. French officials used powerful munitions, which led to collapse of a floor of the building.
“At this time, I’m not in a position to give a precise and definitive number for the people who died, nor their identities, but there are at least two dead people,” Molins said.
The investigators are conducting DNA tests on body parts part of the rubble produced by the violence. But neither Abdelhamid nor another fugitive the police were trying to hunt down, Salah Abdeslam, was found.
“What the terrorists were targeting was what France represents. This is what was attacked on the night of November 13,” said French President Francois Hollande. “These barbarians targeted France’s diversity. It was the youth of France who were targeted simply because they represent life.”
France has already been a part of the international coalition led by the U.S. fighting ISIS with airstrikes in Syria.