French police special forces have killed three suspected terrorists during a special operation in the Parisian suburb of Saint Denis, and arrested five others, according to local media.
One of the suspects managed to escape, French RTL radio said.
Seven or eight alleged grenade explosions were heard near the place where the two suspects are hiding, according to BFMTV.
A group of 50 military has been deployed to facilitate the operation.
"A woman with an explosive belt that has not been activated was shot," two RTL radio security correspondents reported, corroborating previous reports of three deaths and two arrests in the raid.
The three-hour siege reportedly targets Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the terrorist acts, previously thought to have been in Syria, as well as Salah Abdeslam and a potential ninth assailant. Abdeslam is thought to have rented a vehicle used in the massacres.
Live Police-raid in Saint-Denis, France. Shootings heard and some explosions. It seems related to Paris attacks https://t.co/FmrUz9vtJa— Luciano Santilli (@lucianosantilli) November 18, 2015
The shooting reportedly started at 4:30 a.m. local time.
apparently masked French police on the scene in Saint Denis area, Paris pic.twitter.com/JLzlmt0UT0— Khalid Khan™ (@khalidkhan787) November 18, 2015
We called the police and the man said that we don't need to worry it's an intervention… #SaintDenis— ifb (@YOBIEBERVAMPS) November 18, 2015
A saint denis sa tire ommg pic.twitter.com/2iqGmUibtl— SiJeMeSouviens Dispo (@Naam_Laboss) November 18, 2015
Witnesses say a police operator told on the phone a police operation is ongoing. There are also reports specifying that the local SWAT team RAID is at the scene. "The gunfight in Saint-Denis is related to the manhunt of [Paris attacks] perpetrators," the iTele TV channel reported. An official confirmation is yet to follow.
Les coups de feu ont cessé depuis 4h45. La police conseille de rester chez soi suite à l'intervention du Raid à Saint-Denis.— jgbontinck (@JGBONTINCK) November 18, 2015
On November 13, eight extremists wearing explosive belts attacked several venues across Paris, killing 129 people and injuring hundreds more at restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and in the vicinity of the Stade de France stadium. The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The Stade de France stadium is located in the Saint Denis suburb.