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Suicide bomber who blew himself up in post Paris-attacks raid identified

© AFP| A police forensics team searches for evidence outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on November 18, 2015

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-01-15

A suicide bomber who blew himself up in a police raid on an apartment in a Paris suburb following the November 13 terror attacks on the French capital has been identified, officials said Thursday.

Chakib Akrouh, a 25-year-old of Moroccan origin born in Belgium, detonated an explosives vest as police launched a massive assault on the apartment in Saint-Denis – just north of Paris – on November 18, five days after 130 people were murdered in a string of shootings and suicide bombings across the French capital.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the 28-year-old suspected ringleader of the attacks claimed by the Islamic State group, was killed in the raid, as was his 26-year-old cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins released a statement saying Akrouh had been identified after DNA extracted from his remains were compared to that of his mother.

The time lag in identifying Akrouh points to the devastation left after the massive raid that sent explosions ringing through the area as terrified residents were told to stay indoors.

Investigators believe Akrouh was also one of the Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen who sprayed restaurants and café terraces with bullets on November 13, killing dozens of people.

A separate trio of attackers stormed the packed Bataclan concert hall and killed 90 people who had been enjoying a gig by Californian rock band Eagles of Death Metal.

Earlier, three men had blown themselves up outside the Stade de France national stadium while France were playing Germany in a football friendly.

Suspect still on the loose

Abaaoud, 28, was an IS fighter who was previously thought to be in Syria after fleeing raids in his native Belgium.

The prosecutor has said he believes Abaaoud was using the apartment to prepare an attack on Paris' La Defense business district on either the day of the raid or the day after.

Abaaoud was traced to the hideout in Saint-Denis through a mobile phone found abandoned in a bin outside the Bataclan and through calls made by Aitboulahcen.

Investigators are still seeking Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old Frenchman living in Belgium who is thought to have hired the cars used by the attackers and arranged hotel apartments for the nights before the rampage.

A new video emerged this week, showing Abdeslam at a motorway service station near the border of France and Belgium hours after the attacks.

The two accomplices with him were arrested and have admitted taking him back to Brussels, but Abdeslam has evaded capture.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-01-14

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