French lawmakers voted to extend state of emergency

French lawmakers voted to extend state of emergency

Paris - The Islamic State jihadist suspected of masterminding the Paris attacks was killed during a major police raid, prosecutors confirmed Thursday, as French lawmakers voted to extend a state of emergency imposed after the carnage.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed in Wednesday's assault by elite police units on an apartment in northern Paris, which left at least two people dead.

Handprint analysis was used to identify the Belgian's body, which was found among the rubble of the shattered building after officers rained fire and grenades on the jihadists in a seven-hour siege.

"Abdelhamid Abaaoud has just been formally identified... as having been killed during the raid" the Paris prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he welcomed the death of "one of the masterminds" of the attacks.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said Wednesday that the raid in Saint-Denis had stopped a "new team of terrorists" who were ready to launch another attack in a city still mourning 129 dead.

At least two bodies were found after the ferocious shootout, including what is thought to be a woman who detonated an explosives vest.

Valls warned of the dangers still faced by France as lawmakers voted on extending an extraordinary package of security measures for three months.

"We must not rule anything out. There is also the risk from chemical or biological weapons," Valls said.

He called on France's European Union partners to urgently adopt measures to share airline passenger information.

The decision by lawmakers Thursday means the state of emergency will be in place for three months from November 26.

The measures include allowing police to carry weapons when they are off duty and use them in the event of an attack - providing they wear a police armband to avoid "any confusion", according to a directive seen by AFP.

French MPs also voted to allow the government to block websites and social media under the state of emergency.

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