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In Photos: On the Scene of Deadly Police Raid in Saint-Denis

VICE News was in Saint-Denis as police conducted a seven-hour long raid on an apartment where Abdelhamid Abaaoud — the alleged "mastermind" of Friday's Paris attacks — was suspected to be hiding.

by Sally Hayden
Nov 18 2015, 3:35pm

Imagen por Etienne Rouillon/VICE News

Early this morning, residents of Paris suburb Saint-Denis were woken to the sound of shooting, as police officers began a raid targeting an apartment in which suspects linked to the Friday's Paris attacks were believed to be hiding. The siege lasted seven hours and resulted in two deaths — one woman blew herself up, while a man was killed by a grenade. 

Seven people were arrested — three of whom had been inside the apartment. Their landlord was also arrested.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters that the raid was carried out after police had gathered information from surveillance, witness accounts, and tapped telephone conversations.

Molins also said it was still unclear whether Abdelhamid Abaaoud — the alleged "mastermind" of Friday's Paris attacks — was inside the apartment during the raid.

Related: Live Updates: Two Dead in Police Raid Targeting 'Mastermind' of Paris Attacks

VICE News France editor Etienne Rouillon was on the scene in Saint-Denis as events unfolded. He said: "When we got on site at 7:45am, the police were already checking every car coming in near the town center of Saint-Denis. The tension was evident. Armed police and the army were standing near the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis.

"Youth living in the neighborhood told us that the Rue de la République [a few meters away from the Rue du Corbillon, where the raid took place] is usually packed around 9am. The street at the heart of the medieval city center is full of shops and fast food restaurants — but also cheap hotels owned by slumlords.

"The Rue de la République is infamously known for small drug-trafficking and can become quite weird at night, but people are really surprised about what is happening this morning."

Police officers hold a security perimeter with their hands on their guns in the center of Saint Denis — where crowds usually pack the streets. (Photo by Etienne Rouillon/VICE News)

Policemen on the Rue de la République. (Photo by Etienne Rouillon/VICE News)

Policemen watch the scene from up in the Basilica of Saint Denis, a place where many kings of France are buried. (Photo by Etienne Rouillon/VICE News)

Military officers also were deployed in Rue de la République. (Photo by Etienne Rouillon/VICE News)

A policeman securing the perimeter, a rifle in his hands. (Photo by Etienne Rouillon/VICE News)

Ten meters from the perimeter of the closed-off area is the city hall of Saint-Denis. (Photo by Etienne Rouillon/VICE News)

Follow Etienne Rouillon on Twitter: @rouillonetienne