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France

Second body in Saint Denis identified as Abaaoud's cousin

© Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP | Forensics of the French police are at work outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 19, 2015, where French Police special forces raided an appartment the day before

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-11-20

Police have identified the woman killed during the Saint-Denis raid as Hasna Aitboulahcen, a 26-year-old cousin of the suspected ringleader of the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris on November 13.

She was killed alongside Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected ringleader of the Islamic State (IS) group attacks, in a hail of bullets and explosions early on Wednesday morning. A third unidentified person died with them, officials said on Friday.

Police confirmed that they swooped in on the Saint-Denis flat after listening in on Hasna Aitboulahcen’s communications. Her phone had been tapped as part of a drugs investigation, a police source told AFP.

Police also revealed on Friday that Moroccan-born Abaaoud had been seen on closed circuit TV footage at the Croix de Chavaux metro station in the Paris suburb of Montreuil, not far from where one of the cars used in the attacks was found.

He was filmed at 10:14pm (21:14 GMT) last Friday evening, after shootings at several Paris cafes and suicide bombings near the Stade de France stadium had already taken place, but while the attack on the Bataclan concert hall was still underway.
Abaaoud’s mangled body was identified on Thursday.

Abaaoud, 28, was accused of orchestrating last Friday’s attacks. Seven assailants died in the attacks and a suspected eighth is still on the run.

Hunt for fugitive assailant

The black Seat found in Montreuil was one of three cars discovered after the massacres. Investigators believe one of three "commando" teams of attackers used it to attack several bars and restaurants.

Paris prosecutor François Molins said this week that the three cars, including a Polo and a Clio, arrived in a convoy from Belgium on the eve of the attacks.

The cars were all rented by the brothers Brahim and Salah Abdeslam, who lived in Belgium. Brahim blew himself up outside a bar on the bustling Boulevard Voltaire. French authorities are searching for any suspected or potential attackers, while Belgian authorities are trying to track down Salah Abdeslam.

Two of the nine people detained during a spate of raids on Thursday will remain in Belgian custody.

One person was linked to stadium suicide bomber Bilal Hadfi in an investigation that was not directly related to the Paris attacks last Friday. Another suspect, who was detained in relation to the Paris attacks, also had his custody extended.

The seven others, including one whose detention was linked to the Paris attacks, were let go, a statement from the prosecutor's office said. No other details were released.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
 

Date created : 2015-11-20

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