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Paris attacks: Latest developments for Wednesday

By Eliott C. McLaughlin and Euan McKirdy

CNN

 

(CNN) -- Two big developments start off Wednesday in the aftermath of the Paris attacks last week in which 129 people were killed:

The suspected mastermind of the deadly attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is the target of a massive police raid in a northern Paris suburb, which CNN affiliate BFMTV reports has resulted in the deaths of two suspects. Also, two Air France flights were diverted in U.S. airspace because of bomb threats.

Here's the key information at this stage:

Suspects cornered in Paris suburb

A major police raid, also involving military troops, is currently taking place in the northern suburb of Saint Denis. A CNN affiliate reports that two of the suspects have been killed, but one remains alive. One of the dead was shot by a police sniper; the other, a woman, blew herself up with a suicide vest, according to BFMTV.

The network also reports that a civilian was killed in the operation, and at least three police officers were wounded.

The apparent ringleader of the attack Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is the main target, a senior Belgian counterterrorism official told CNN but the official cautioned authorities weren't certain that Abaaoud was at the location.

CNN's Atika Shubert reported five or six explosions at the scene. It wasn't clear if the explosions were controlled or otherwise.

The report comes shortly after witnesses reported heavy gunfire and roads blocked by police in the suburb, home of the Stade de France national stadium, site of one of Saturday's attacks.

Read full story here.

Bomb threats ground flights

Two Air France flights headed for Paris -- oen from Washington's Dulles Airport and the other from Los Angeles -- were diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Salt Lake City, respectively, following bomb threats, officials say.

The first has been searched and rendered safe.

It is unknown whether the same person called in both threats.

Obama slams states over refugee refusals

As a growing number of U.S. governors said they don't want Syrian refugees in their states, President Barack Obama fired back.

"I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for (ISIS) than some of the rhetoric that's been coming out of here during the course of this debate," Obama told reporters. Arguments that there should be a religious test before refugees are admitted or that only Syrian Christians should be allowed in are "offensive" and "contrary to American values," he said.

More than two dozen U.S. states have said they oppose accepting any refugees from Syria. The State Department said it is taking the governors' concerns seriously, but it remains "steadfastly committed" to bringing in 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.

Multiple cell phones recovered

Investigators have recovered multiple cell phones at the scenes of the attacks believed to belong to the attackers, a possible big break that could help unravel the plot and the suspected network behind it, counterterrorism and intelligence officials said.

According to the officials, at least one phone contained a message, sent some time before the attacks began, to the effect of: OK, we're ready.

Charlie Hebdo remains defiant

The latest Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine is expected to hit newsstands on Wednesday. The cover reads: "They have the weapons. Screw them. We have the champagne!" The magazine's office was the target of a terror attack in January.

One soccer game canceled; another goes on

German officials said they haven't found any explosives or made any arrests at a stadium in Hannover, Germany, which was evacuated just before a friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands. Officials canceled the match after police uncovered "serious plans for explosives."

The France-England soccer friendly kicked off under tight security at Wembley Stadium in London. Players and fans united to sing the French national anthem, followed by a minute of silence.

CNN's Jethro Mullen, Catherine E. Shoichet, Anna-Maja Rappard., Ivan Watson, Scott Bronstein, Christiane Amanpour, Tim Lister, Matthew Chance, Anastasia Sobinyakova, Nima Elbagir, Paul Cruickshank, Claudia Otto, Erin Burnett and Margot Haddad contributed to this report.

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