International manhunt underway for Paris attacks suspect | News | DW | 16.11.2015
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International manhunt underway for Paris attacks suspect

An international manhunt is underway for a Belgian-born man who police believe helped organize Friday's coordinated attacks in Paris. The suspect was apparently stopped at a border check, but was later released.

Twenty-six-year-old Salah Abdeslam, a French national who helped plan the attacks with two of his brothers, has been described as "dangerous."

Abdeslam is thought to be one of the men who hired cars which were used to carry out the attacks. He was pulled over on the French-Belgian border on Saturday, but later released by authorities.

One of his brothers died in the attacks, while the second is under arrest in Belgium, a judicial source said.

Three teams of attackers, including seven suicide bombers, were responsible for the assaults on the national stadium, the concert hall and nearby restaurants and bars.

More than a dozen people have been arrested in Belgium and France since Friday and investigators say they're searching for other members of the sleeper cell that carried out the deadly attacks.

Retaliatory strikes

Frankreich Kampfjet Kampfflugzeug Rafale

A munitions depot and IS training camp were among the targets of France's airstrikes

In an apparent retaliation for Friday's attacks, French warplanes pounded "Islamic State" (IS) positions in Syria's eastern city of Raqqa on Sunday in one of the biggest raids to date.

"The raid [...] including 10 fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped," the Defense Ministry confirmed late Sunday.

It said a munitions depot and IS training camp were among the targets which took place in coordination with the US command.

France has been bombing IS positions in Iraq and Syria for months as part of a US-led operation. Raqqa has become the jihadist group's de facto capital after IS seized large areas of Iraq and Syria over the past 18 months.

IS has claimed responsibility for Friday's suicide bombings and shootings, which left 129 people dead and more than 350 injured.

Watch video 01:39

France: Investigators launch manhunt

Iraq warning

On Sunday, Iraqi officials told the Associated Press that France and other countries had been warned on Thursday of an imminent attack.

An Iraqi intelligence dispatch said that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had ordered his followers to immediately launch gun and bomb attacks and take hostages inside the countries of the coalition fighting them in Iraq and Syria. Iraqi intelligence officials have said they gave Paris specific details about the attackers.

But a senior French security official told the Associated Press that French intelligence gets these kinds of warnings "every day."

Stock market jitters

France's main stock exchange is expected to open as normal on Monday, despite ongoing security fears following Friday's attacks.

Euronext Paris said it had beefed up security measures at the Place de la Bourse in the second arrondissement, while global market traders expect a bumpy day as markets react to the impact of the tragedy on tourism and business.

Most Asian markets opened around 1 percent lower on Monday and the euro fell in early trade.

Honoring the dead

Several European countries are expected to hold a minute of silence at 12 p.m. local time (11:00 UTC) to remember the victims of Friday's mass killings. The City of Light remains in shock amid three days of official mourning.

Several thousand extra police officers and troops have been deployed to Paris, one of the world's most visited cities.

Several tourist attractions including The Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay are expected to reopen on Monday after being closed over the weekend.

mm/cmk (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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