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Death Toll From Paris Attacks Rises To 130

  • RFE/RL

Forensics of the French police are at work outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, November 19, 2015

Forensics of the French police are at work outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, November 19, 2015

As French and Belgian police continued searching for accomplices and links to last week’s terror attacks in Paris, France’s prime minister said a person critically injured in the onslaught had died, bringing the death toll from the violence to 130.

French authorities, meanwhile, said on November 20 that they had identified a third body recovered from the flat in a north Paris suburb that was raided by police earlier this week, amid furious gunfire and heavy explosion.

Officials, however, did not release the name of the person. Earlier bodies whose names were released include Hasna Aitboulahcen, who is believed to have been the cousin of the suspected Belgian mastermind of the Paris assaults, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

Abaaoud was also killed in the November 18 raid.

Since last week's attacks, police have searched 793 premises, held 90 people for questioning, put 164 under house arrest, and recovered 174 weapons including assault rifles and other guns, the Interior Ministry said.

The November 13 attack, which included at least nine suicide bombers and gunmen, targeted people at a concert hall, a sports stadium, as well as bars and restaurants in central Paris. More than 350 people were wounded.

Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in revenge for French air strikes against the extremist groups’ fighters and infrastructure in Syria. U.S. and European intelligence have not been able to confirm that, however.

Prosecutors announced that a second assailant had been confirmed as registering in Greece as a refugee before coming to France. The man, whose identity was obtained through his fingerprints, registered in Greece on October 3, the same day as another assailant who was found with an as-of-yet unauthenticated passport identifying him as Ahmad al-Mohammaad.

Both died after detonating suicide vests at the Stade de France soccer stadium.

The discovery is likely to deepen fears about the influx of refugees who have flooded Europe in recent months, mainly from war-wracked Syria but also Iraq and other troubled Middle Eastern and North African nations.

The five other attackers who died had links to France and Belgium. One of the seven dead has not been identified, while a manhunt is under way for one suspect, Salah Abdeslam. French police stopped Abdeslam the morning after the attacks at the Belgian border but then let him go.

In Belgium, the government raised the terror alert to the highest level in the capital, Brussels, with the national crisis center warning of an "imminent threat."

The crisis center urged citizens to avoid crowded areas such as concerts and transport hubs in Belgium's capital, which is also home to the European Union and NATO headquarters.

France's Senate on November 20 voted to extend a state of emergency for three months. The measure expands police powers to carry out arrests and searches and allows authorities to forbid the movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places. France's lower chamber has already approved the measure.

Hollande is also going to Washington and Moscow next week to push for a stronger international coalition against Islamic State fighters.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
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