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#Paris: 3 dead, 5 arrested during major police operation

2 suspects were reportedly killed in a raid targeting the alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks.

French police special forces in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on 18 November, 2015 during an operation aimed at capturing suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Picture: AFP.

PARIS - Two suspects and a passerby were killed while five police officers were slightly injured during a massive operation targeting the alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks.

It's been reported that five arrests were also made during the operation in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

#ParisAttacks On Rue Gabriel Péri where police & emergency services are on the scene of a deadly raid. LdB pic.twitter.com/mFBNeYMJHt

Police and emergency services officials are still on the scene of the deadly counter-terrorism raid which resulted in a woman dying after detonating a suicide belt while another suspect was shot by a police sniper.

A passerby was also killed during a shootout.

It's believed the target of this morning's raid is the alleged mastermind of the Paris terror attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

One of the suspected attackers Salah Abdeslam is also apparently holed up inside.

It remains unclear whether either one was killed or arrested in this morning's operation.

Shots started ringing out into the Paris darkness from 4:30am this morning.

Media from around the world have flocked to Paris since the attacks are being kept at least 100m from the scene, with soldiers from French army surrounding the area and all three nearby metro stations closed.

#ParisAttacks St. Denis metro stops not lit. A sign that they've been closed following this morning's raids. LdB pic.twitter.com/ZNFkHh1Pkg

#ParisAttacks Streets of St. Denis empty as the army secures the neighborhood. LdB pic.twitter.com/sm9uVXwMKW

Police in full assault gear have cordoned off the zone and all public transportation in the area has been halted.

EU TREATY INVOKED

Yesterday, France has made a formal request for help from its European Union (EU) partners, invoking a mutual assistance article in the EU's treaty for the first time.

The French ministry has announced its invoked article 42.7, in the wake of Friday night's coordinated attacks in the capital.

WATCH: Paris Attacks: Witnesses describe terrifying ordeal

Immediate details of what France will request are not clear, but the EU's Lisbon Treaty says that in the case of "armed aggression" on any EU country, the other countries have "an obligation of aid and assistance by all means in their power".

At the same time, the United Nations Refugee Agency has urged European countries not to react to Friday's attacks in Paris by rejecting or blaming refugees, the vast majority of whom were fleeing persecution or conflict.

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