Two killed in raid targeting mastermind of Paris attacks

Shooting and multiple explosions were heard Wednesday as police launched a raid in a Paris suburb targeting the Islamic State militant suspected of being the mastermind of last Friday’s attacks in the French capital.

Authorities said they were seeking Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national of Moroccan descent, and that several people were holed up in an apartment in Saint-Denis.

At least two suspects have been killed in the hours-long operation, including a woman who blew herself up.  Police have also arrested three people and at least two police officers have been injured.

Authorities are also looking for other suspects tied to the November 13 attacks that killed 129 people and injured more than 300 others.  Three officials, who spoke late Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide details about the ongoing investigation, said an analysis of Friday’s attacks indicated one person directly involved was unaccounted for.

The officials said that fugitive has not been identified.  French and Belgian authorities have issued a warrant for another person, Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam, whose brother was among the attackers.

Seven attackers died that night, three around the national stadium, three inside the Bataclan concert venue, and one at a restaurant nearby during attacks.

A team of gunmen also opened fire at a series of nightspots in one of Paris’ trendiest neighborhoods, officials said.