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Paris attacks: third gunman identified as Chakib Akrouh

Paris: A Belgian-Moroccan man has been identified as one of the group involved in the terror attacks in Paris and its suburbs in November.

A bullet hole adjacent to the La Belle Equipe cafe in Paris following the attacks on November 13.
A bullet hole adjacent to the La Belle Equipe cafe in Paris following the attacks on November 13. Photo: Andrew Meares

The militant was identified as Chakib Akrouh by the prosecutor, who said he had been the third person who shot and killed patrons at cafes and bars in Paris on the evening of November 13, the night 130 people were killed in three co-ordinated attacks in and around the city. He has not been identified previously.

Akrouh, 25, blew himself up in an apartment on Rue Corbillon in Saint-Denis during a police raid five days later, the office of Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said in a statement.

A man holds his head in his hands as he lays flowers in front of the Carillon cafe, in Paris, on November 14.
A man holds his head in his hands as he lays flowers in front of the Carillon cafe, in Paris, on November 14. Photo: AP

He was identified by matching his DNA with that of his mother, the prosecutor's office said.

The identification of Akrouh reduces to two the number of unidentified figures involved in the attacks.

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Three suicide bombers were found to have been outside the Stade de France in the north of Paris. One has been identified as Bilal Hadfi. The other two, still unnamed, were registered as having entered Europe through Greece carrying false Syrian documents.

Mr Molins has now identified all three gunmen at the cafes and bars, where 39 people were killed. The other two were Ibrahim Abdeslam, who blew himself up, according to the prosecutor, and Abdelhamid Abaaoud, believed to have been the on-the-ground organiser of the attacks. Abaaoud died in the November 18 police raid on the hideout in Saint-Denis.

Military and police conduct an operation in St Denis in Paris on November 18.
Military and police conduct an operation in St Denis in Paris on November 18. Photo: Andrew Meares

Like the majority of the attackers, Akrouh had ties to Morocco. The others had Belgian-Moroccan or French-Moroccan backgrounds. Reports in the Belgian media said Akrouh went to Syria and was sentenced to five years in absentia last summer in the same court case in which Abaaoud was sentenced to 20 years in prison for recruiting for the Islamic State.

Akrouh came from Molenbeek, a suburb of Brussels where the Abdeslam brothers, who were also involved in the Paris attacks, lived. He appears to have known Abaaoud, perhaps from there.

Police forces in the operation in Saint-Denis on November 18. Chakib Akrouh blew himself up in an apartment in the ...
Police forces in the operation in Saint-Denis on November 18. Chakib Akrouh blew himself up in an apartment in the northern Paris surburb. A woman also died.  Photo: Francois Mori

His image was captured in a Paris Metro station with Abaaoud on the night of November 13, when the two returned to the area near the Bataclan concert hall, where some of the other assailants were still shooting and killing civilians.

Reuters