#ParisAttacks: 2 dead, 7 arrested in major police raid

It’s believed the offensive targeted the alleged mastermind behind the terror attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

Members of the BRI, a special intervention unit of the French police, are pictured in combat position in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis city centre, on 18 November 2015, as French Police special forces raid an appartment, hunting those behind the Paris attacks on 13 November. Picture: AFP.

PARIS - It started before dawn and now, six hours later it appears the police operation is finally over.

Several shots were heard between 4:30am and 6:30am this morning.

Seven people have been arrested following today's counter-terrorism raids in the suburb close to the national stadium, Stade de France.

It's believed the offensive targeted the alleged mastermind behind the terror attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

The suburb on the outskirts of Paris has been brought to a standstill with the army surrounding it.

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

And the three metro stations in the vicinity have also been closed, leaving residents frustrated.

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

Paris prosecutors have confirmed two people were killed during a shootout with police this morning, a woman who blew herself up and a man who was shot by a sniper.

Meanwhile, schools and public transport have been shut down in Saint-Denis, where forensic teams are now gathering evidence.

A man arrested during today's raid has told news agency AFP that he had lent his apartment to two people from Belgium as a favour to a friend.

The apartment was targeted by officers hunting the mastermind of Friday's Paris attacks that killed around 130 people and left more than 350 others injured.

WATCH: Over 120 killed in Paris terror attacks

Shortly before his arrest, the man, who asked not to be named said he was told the pair of lodgers didn't require a mattress in his flat because they only wanted to pray.

The pair are among five people held by police during the deadly operation.

It's understood officers are also trying to raid a church, where it's believed one of the masterminds behind the attacks is hiding.