French authorities said they had identified the corpse of Belgian national Abdelhamid Abaaoud from fingerprints in the aftermath of Wednesday’s raid, in which at least two people died including a female suicide bomber after a gun battle with police, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to Reuters.
“It was his body we discovered in the building, riddled with impacts,” – a statement from the Paris prosecutor said, a day after the raid. The prosecutor later added that it was unclear whether Abaaoud had detonated a suicide belt.
Abaaoud was accused of organising last Friday’s coordinated bombings and shootings in the French capital, which killed 129 people. Seven terrorists died in the attack and one suspect is still on the run.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls broke the news of Abaaoud’s death in parliament on Thursday to applause from lawmakers who were voting to extend a state of emergency for another three months.
“We know today … that the mastermind of the attacks – or one of them, let’s remain cautious – was among those dead,” Valls told reporters.
Even before last week’s attacks, Morroccan-born Abaaoud, 28, was one of Islamic State’s highest-profile European recruits, prominently profiled in the group’s online English-language magazine Dabiq, where he boasted of traveling across European borders staging attacks.