you're watching al jazeera. we've got breaking news out of france. a major operation underway this hour in the northern paris suburb of st dennis. there are coming from attacks from friday when at least 129 people died. this is what we know so far. at least two people have been killed and three police officers have been injured in the police raid going on, not just police, special forces also involved.
they've surrounded an apartment containing, we think, several key suspects who have been linked to friday's attacks. there have been reports of heavy gun fire. our reporters on the scene have told us about a series of explosions going place. this going on near the stade de france sports stadium, that's where three suicide bombings took place on friday. residents in this area have been warned to stay indoors. schools have been ordered not to open. you can see a heavy police presence in that suburb from the pictures. live from st denis, you've been talking about how this operation unfolded. it seems quieter right now. tell us what's going on. >> reporter: it is quieter right now. the operation started in the middle of the night, really, about 4 o'clock in the morning
with police and swot teams raiding an apartment block. clearly the people inside had weapons because they were shooting from the apartment block and really an intense barrage in exchange of gun fire which local people said went on for ten minutes at about 4 in the morning. by the time i got here, the police had thrown up a security cordon and the helicopter hoe r hoeferi hoefering-- hovering over head. there was a lull for a while and then 45 minutes ago a series of very loud debt nations comi-- detonations and you can see the police in the street.
information has been given about how the raid has opinion going. the latest is that three suspects have been killed, three arrested and three police officers injured. in terms of detail, eyewitnesses have spoken about a woman wearing a vest packed with explosives and detonating them during the police operation. now we're hearing two different locations, two different buildings in st denis were targeted during this raid. as i said, at the moment the figures we're getting, three suspects killed, three suspects arrested and three police officers injured. there are indications, again, and not confirmed, that the operation may be nearing its conclusion at this stage do we know if there are
still suspects alive penned down inside-- pinned down inside those buildings? >> reporter: i cannot be sure of that, but if i said we are start-- as i said, we are starting to get reports that the operation is eaching its conclusion-- reaching its conclusion. whether there are suspects outside is another question. we know seven attackers died on friday night. we knew about an eighth suspect who was on the run named as salah abdeslam and his photograph has been circulating for the last 48 hours. then late on tuesday we heard the police were looking for a ninth atabbinger, so-- attacker, so there were two men on the loose who police were searching for. only in the last few hours we discovered that one of those men on they were searching for was the planner, coordinator, ring
leader of the operation of friday night, a man by the name of abdel hamid abaaoud who they thought initially was in syria, or at least that's what we where hearing. he was believed to be in belgium pulling the strings from a distance. his name wasn't published before th that. we have no names or no ids on the people that have been killed now, that three suspects were killed in the raid, but we don't know whether those three include salah abdeslam or abdel hamid abaaoud, both described as extremely dangerous and who belles have been searching urgent lip as having been-- urgently as having been involved in the attacks that killed at
least 129 people thanks for that. do stay with us. so jacky confirming that right now it has been reported that three people have been killed during that police raid, three others have been arrested and three police officers have been injured and it looks like that two different buildings in st denis has been targeted. a series of explosions took place roughly half an hour ago, which were heard during this police raid. we will play back those pictures for you. (loud explosion heard) as you can hear, a series
of explosions. this followed a gun fire exchange. i can tell you that there were reports that a woman wearing an explosive vest was shot dead. these are the reports coming out of various broadcasters and media on the ground there, and those reports coming out after that series of explosions, a woman wearing an explosive vest was shot dead. three people were killed. let's go to al jazeera producer tristan redman who is near the scene. what are local people doing? are they being told to stay indoors or have they been evacuated? >> reporter: they have been told to stay in doors they haven't. there's a number of people here crowding outside the town hall. there are obviously a lot of
journalists now starting to aarrive. a few streets away from this scene, st denis is waking up like it would on any other mourning. i have just seen a person laying tables in a restaurant. there are a lot of young guys standing around and watching. when i arrived here about two/three hours ago, now they've been joined by many more. we're also hearing now that the military has arrived in the area. they've deployed 100 soldiers to assist the police in this operation. we're hearing from radio france that there have been several arrests and we're also hearing that a person, a woman,
reportedly, blew herself up during the police raid. we don't know whether that was in the early moments of the raid or whether that was during those explosions that we heard about half an hour ago. i met a man when i first aarrived here who had been following it from the very beginning because he lived in the house next-door to the one that is being surrounded right now. he told he he heard hundreds of gun shots. he told me that he heard several explosions. he played me some audio of those explosions. it was impossible to tell whether these were police grenades or some grenades or whether it was some sort of explosion from something happening inside the house. there was clearly a lot of action there around about 3 o'clock gmt and it went quiet for some time.
there was a hiatus. we had helicopters flying across over head, and then about half an hour/45 minutes ago we had another flurry of activity with these explosions. we could see police amassed in the street. we've seen fire engines and ambulances arriving on the scene in the last 20 minutes. we don't know whether there are any new injuries because they have gone through the police cordon, or they've just been brought in to be on stand by in case of any further injuries it's quite difficult to get information coming out of what is happening there. just stay with us because i want to talk a little bit about that area of st denis. i think we can show our viewers a map of the area.
it's a northern suburb of paris, very close to the stade de france which is, of course, one of the sites attackd on friday by suicide bombers. just tell us about the kind of area it is. it's quite a well-to-do area, isn't it? >> reporter: well, there's a mix. in recent years many middle-class parisians have been forced out by very high property prices and in the last ten to 15 years there has been something of a fashionable move to st denis as a new place to live. for many years before that it has been a very deprived area. it's historically very important. i'm standing right now next to the cathedral which is the
historical burial of a french king. it is very important in the french catholic church. it's also where the stade de france is, which is where the 1998 world cup final was, where france won the world cup. there are a lot of very businesses based out here. there's a very large business park. it surrounds the stadium. there are large corporate buildings there. there are also some difficult deprived areas. as there are in this whole swathe of northern suburbs of paris. we're not very far away from the suburbs of where the riots of 2005 happened in paris 10 years ago. it's a very sensitive area.
people who live here, when you talk to young people in the area, they're often very concerned about the way they're displayed in the media, they get very worried about the way they're portrayed, particularly after events like this, and the word you often here is "am algam", because they worry that the wider french public has a very negative view of people who live in this area. they see raids like this or raids like those that happened in 2012 in teleuse, and they believe that many french people equate this area with those kinds of events or the riots in 2005 and people are very sensitive about that. st denis is a bit more mixed
community. as i mentioned, it's middle-class parisian crowds who have moved out in the last ten to 15 years, but it does have these very difficult areas. this whole area between the north of paris, the airport, which is probably 10 to 15 kilometres north-east of where i'm standing, is a very sensitive area thank you very much indeed for that al jazeera producer, tristan redmon who is at the scene. three people have been killed during that police siege which involves military and swot teams as well. three others have been arrested and three police officers have been injured in that raid. we don't know how close it is to coming to an end. let's take a look at what we do
know so far. three suspects killed in police raids in st denis. this is in a northern suburb north of paris near the stade de france. people have been ordered to stay in doors, but there are a lot not doing that. we know three police officers have been injured and three people killed. let's talk to the founder of terror risk which is a risk consultancy firm. anne clearly police wanting to get their hands on the remaining suspects, there are at least two suspects at large, although there have been several people killed during this police raid so we don't quite know what the status is, but this siege hopefully will pin down those behind the attacks on friday. >> reporter: yes. the investigation has led to the
in place to catch the suspects. it is the investigation that has been made since last friday we're going to leave it there because the phone line isn't very clear and we're having trouble getting some of your words there. we will try and come back to you later on. let's come to our guest in the studio, remi piette. extraordinary scenes going on in st denis there. france always has a very stream lined siege operation, but a lot of people will be asking questions as to why there was security failures in the first place which allowed the friday attacks to take place. they're still going to have tricky questions to answer, aren't they? >> you can tell there was a
lack of intelligence, and the question is how countries do exchange information in terms of intelligence. the turkish government says they were trying to pass information they said twice. >> there were also some reports, even inside the french police outlining the potential for attacks, but the issue here is complex. i mean terrorism is not just a national issue, it is international they carried out all those raids after the friday attacks, they targeted known i.s.i.l. sympathizers. why wasn't that done after charl charlie hebdo. >> they were being monitored, and until they actually do something, on what legal basis do you retain them. that's also the rule of law
which is something to look at. the terrorist who blew himself up, he had been linked with some affairs that were more to do with in a burglary or petty crime. he was monitored because he went to a specific mosque. does that mean that everyone goes around that mosque should be detained that's an interesting point because francois hollande has announced that he want to extend the state of emergency he wants to bring in new security regulations. what does this mean for the galate and liberty that france is so fond of? >> right now we're talking about in terms of conty substitutional changes-- constitutional changes, it's more a question of linked to what could be acts in france, but there are safeguards. there's a democratic debate going on right now in france.
on the strength of that debate, it shows that it is still very much there. there will be reforms maybe more capacity for the government from the authorities to be able to track down more and more information through email, through phone. in terms of that specific situation, the topic in france, we're much more libertarian than the u.s. say. but the issues, even if you actually get that information, some information can be blurry. one of the terrorists, salah abdeslam, was an owner of a bar in belgium and a drug trafficker. it doesn't show him as a perfect zealot in terms of religion. they're planning to clean the streets of paris of bad behaviour, they're trying to use this to crate crime. they're more criminal than-- does it suggest more going
on here. we've got salah abdeslam, as you say, one of three brothers, one of his brothers blew himself up and the other has been cleared. the other man they're looking for is abdel hamid abaaoud. we don't know for sure whether he is one of the men currently involved in today's siege. >> it's actually very surprising that he is here. if he is here, it's a big issue he was thought to be in syria. >> yes. he was. he is known to be one of the key recruiters for d.a.e.s.h. one of the reason that france has targeted is because the french nationals, there is a key position inside the i.s.i.s. in terms of equipment they've been very effective. abdel hamid abaaoud was a 28-year-old belgian, was really used as a key figure to try to get poor souls to join i.s.i.s.
if he is in this apartment, which is likely, his demise would be a huge effort he was thought to be at mollenbeek which is one of the areas where authorities are worried that young muslims are becoming radicalised. >> it is. they're from this area. that area has been known for many years to be a center for fundamentalism. when you're looking at bruise els, the training where one guy has tried to storm inside the train, there were two people bearing down preventing any casualties. all those were linked to belgium and to molenbeek. you can see the key terrorist
actions were somewhere to linked. if he is in that apartment, it is big issue. intelligence was an important point here. the americans were receiving, the belgians and the americans talk more, and maybe this issue of intelligence was the key reason why it was not possible to pick up on that platte. there were several plots having been dismantled. we know about the attacks in january but between the two, we six or seven plots, maybe even more that we don't know of. it has been very effective just to put it into context because there has been a back lash of syrian refugees after that passport was found, that actually these attackers are what they call home-grown attackers who are european nationals, not hiding among the
syrian refugees who have come in and yet they are going to be inevitably, i suppose, sort of tarnished with that brush. >> it's an issue on a different dimension. the strategy of i.s.i.s. is to break up with this republican cradle of having people living today. they have actually played into the hand of i.s.i.s., there are more likely to be more. when refugees are not welcome, those refugees will feel that there's no chance for them and it might create recruitment for i.s.i.s. i.s.i.l. is becoming more and more extreme on the right.
it's creating islamphobia. it is going to be turning those muslim communities from peaceful, becoming more radicalised and potential recruit of i.s.i.s. thank you very much indeed for that. i know you're going to be with us throughout the morning. for the moment, thank you for that. live pictures coming to us from that paris suburb of st denis. at least one building, perhaps two, being targeted by police raids. this has been going on since dawn this morning. there have been gun firing, helicopters circling over ahead. less than an hour ago there were a series of loud explosions which shook that neighborhood.
five explosions there taking place roughly about an hour ago just as dawn was breaking over france. we know that several police officers have been injured in the police raid. three people being - have been killed and three others have been arrested. we have no confirmations on the names of the suspects, although it is being widely speculated that one of those that police were targeting in these raids is abdel hamid abaaoud, a belgian of moroccon descent who was thought to be in syria fighting i.s.i.l., there is a picture there. it looks like he could be back on french soil and this man is thought to be the mastermind of the attacks. let's go to jacky rowland who is live on the scene for us. jacky, just give us an idea of
your vantage point and what you can see happening. >> reporter: well, in fact, it's a rather confused situation here at the moment. although there was an understanding that the main raids, the operation against two locations, two builds in st denis were over. just in the last five minutes we saw police again with guns drawn and pursuing someone who appeared to be running away. that was about five minutes ago. no gun fire or anything, but certainly although we know that there were two main suspects that were being searched, you mentioned their names but, salah abdeslam and abdel hamid abaaoud, what has become clear in the course of this investigation is that there are various different - there were three separate cells that carried out the attack. there have been various leads in belgium, there have been reports of arrests in germany.
this is clearly, although this particular operation against the two buildings may be over, it's clear that there are a number of people potentially out there who is not actually involved in the attacks, could possibly have been involved in either logistics or finance of the raids have taken place all over france over a series of nights now, particularly in teleuse where some businesses were raid, might be providing financing for these operations. we've been hearing from other colleagues and experts while the security forces have clearly tracked down the main suspects in a relatively short period of time, there are still questions about the expense to which there are people out there who have either travelled to syria or to
yemen, or who have attempted to do so, and who could possibly have shared the ideology which motivated the people involved in friday's attacks. the operation since friday has been pretty swift in terms of actually tracking down the main perpetrators we've been hearing reports that one of the suspects who was killed was a woman in a suicide vest. do you know any more about that? >> reporter: yes. apparently - well, the first was there were reports that she had detonated the belt, and then there were reports that she had been shot by special forces on the scene. about an hour ago we heard a series of very loud debt nations. we weren't sure with what they were, but they could have been
used devices used by the police used to disorient the people inside the apartment before going in. at the moment it's three suspects killed, one which is a woman, three arrested and three police officers were injured during the raid. t the police who were chasing someone down the street have come back. there are emergency vehicles in the street, i can see fire engines an ambulances as well-- and ambulances as well. in terms of the general atmosphere, it seems quite a bit more relaxed. before it was the police were very twitchy and alert and if anyone steps over - a colleague stepped over and found a police gunpointing straight at him. the police rathean