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3rd body found at Paris raid site; France seeks joint EU action

world Updated: Nov 20, 2015 16:28 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times

People work inside the damaged building of Wednesday's raid on an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, Thursday Nov.19, 2015. A third body was found at the site of the police raid on Friday, November 20, 2015.(AP)

A third body was found at the scene of the massive, seven-hour raid on Wednesday in the suburb of Saint-Denis, prosecutors said on Friday, even as France sought coordinated EU action to deal with the situation at a meeting of home ministers in Brussels.

The prosecutor announced that in all three people died during the raid on an apartment in Saint-Denis, where Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged ringleader of the Paris attacks, was killed. The third dead person was said to be a woman who was yet to be identified.

A passport in the name of Hasna Aitboulahcen, the female suicide bomber who blew herself up during the raid, was also found at the property, a statement from the prosecutor said.

Meanwhile, France’s interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve arrived in Brussels for talk emergency talks with his EU counterparts, and said Europe needed to “wake up and defend itself against the terrorist threat”.

“It is urgent that Europe wakes up, organises itself and defends itself against the terrorist threat,” he said, adding that Europe must make counter-terror decisions “after wasting too much time”.

French prime minister Manuel Valls warned that if “Europe does not shoulder its responsibilities the Schengen agreement is under threat”. He said that there was “no sealed border” or “safe zone”, referring to reports that some of the Paris attackers had passed through the country’s borders with apparent ease.

In Paris, France’s national police chief admitted that authorities still did not have any clear information about the whereabouts of Salah Abdeslam, said to be one of the attackers last Friday.

Jean-Marc Falcone told a local radio station: “We can’t say anything about the exact geographic situation of that individual…We are working together”, but regretted that collaboration at the European level was “not working well enough, it’s not advanced enough, not integrated enough.”