Paris attacks: Gunfire echoes as police raid apartment

It looked and sounded like war on the streets of Paris - a gun battle raged for hours in the neighbourhood of St Denis. 

Much of it played out live on French TV, with Special Forces pitted against militants who were using the camouflage of suburbia to go about their deadly business.

A woman was caught on camera shouting during the violence – she is reportedly a suicide bomber, who blew herself up when police closed in.

Police were hampered by a security door that withstood their first round of explosives. That gave the terrorists time to prepare their retaliation.

The suicide bomber is said to be the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud - the alleged mastermind behind the Paris massacres.

Wire taps and surveillance suggested he was in an apartment around one kilometre from the Stade de France, and not in Syria as initially thought.

The body of a second alleged terrorist was stretchered away and more than six others have been arrested.

Abaaoud is not among the arrested and it's not yet known if he's among the dead.

Police unloaded 5000 bullets at the ordinary-looking apartment building.

They're still sifting for clues - were these accomplices or a separate cell preparing to strike again? 

Islamic State (IS), which claimed responsibility for the attacks, has now published a photo of the bomb it says it used to down a Russian airliner. It also claims to have executed a Chinese and a Norwegian hostage two months after demanding ransoms for their release.

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