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France

French authorities identify five in connection to deadly Paris attacks

media People warm up under protective thermal blankets as they walk on a street near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. Reuters/Benoit Tessie

Authorities have now identified at least five of the seven attackers killed during the 13 November attacks on Paris. Meanwhile French police are seeking a 26-year-old man who is said to be one of three brothers linked to the attacks.

On Monday morning, authorities identified two more suicide bombers connected to Friday's attacks in Paris. Authorities had previously discovered a Syrian passport near the body of a man they now identify as Syrian-born Ahmed Almohammad. For their part, Greek and Serbian authorities confirmed the passport had been issued to a man who'd registered as a refugee in October on the island of Leros and applied for asylum in Serbia a few days later.

The second attacker identified on Monday was named as French-born Samy Amimour. 

Investigators have now named at least five suicide bombers. The three others include Omar Ismail Mostefai, a French citizen who was identified by a severed finger found among the carnage at the Bataclan concert hall. Authorities say Bilal Hadfi was killed after setting off his suicide vest near the Stade de France. Authorities have also identified Brahim Abdeslam, a suicide bomber who exploded himself outside a Paris restaurant.

Click to enlarge the map

Security sources say Brahim Abdeslam was one of three brothers involved in the 13 November attacks. They say of the three, only Salah Abdeslam is still alive and remains the principal suspect currently on the run.

French authorities say Salah Abdeslam was briefly stopped in the north of France, close to Cambrai. Authorities reportedly checked his identity but allowed his vehicle with three passengers to leave the scene before realising his name was listed in connection to the investigation.

Abdeslam is said to have lived in Brussels, in the rundown immigrant neighbourhood of Molenbeek, where police have made several arrests.

The attacks "were prepared abroad and involved a team situated in Belgian territory and who may have benefited from... complicity in France," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after talks on Sunday with his Belgian counterpart, Jan Jambon.

Cazeneuve said the two countries were "determined to act together [...] to dismantle the (jihadists') networks".

In a further sign of the growing Belgian connection, investigators said two cars used in the violence were hired there.

One was found near the Bataclan venue, and the other in the suburb of Montreuil east of Paris, with a number of AK47 rifles inside.

Witnesses said the second car, a black Seat, was used by the gunmen who shot dozens of people in bars and restaurants in the hip Canal St Martin area of Paris.

As the investigation spread across Europe, police carried out raids in Bobigny, in the northern suburbs of Paris, on Sunday evening.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said authorities have so far identified 103 of the dead, who included journalists, lawyers, students, parents of small children. Most are under 40.

The death toll from the attacks has risen to 132.

Islamic State said it carried out the attacks in revenge for French air strikes in Syria and threatened further violence in France "as long as it continues its Crusader campaign".

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