Jawad Ben Dow, the owner of the Saint-Denis flat raided by police, says he was unaware of the identities of anyone staying at the property and only put the residents up as a favour to a friend.

"I found out that it's at my house, and that the people are holed up at my flat. I didn't know they were terrorists," he said.

"Someone asked me a favour, I did them a favour. Someone asked me to put two people up for three days and I did them a favour, it's normal. I don't know where they came from I don't know anything. If I'd known do you think I'd have done it?" he added.

His friend, who did not give her name, said that Ben Dow often offered his studio in the centre of the suburb of Saint-Denis to people who needed a place to stay.

She was in the street when the assault began.

"I left a friend's place not far away and I went into the street and I heard gunshots and there were shots out of the window," she said.

Two assailants were killed, including a woman who detonated a suicide bomb, and seven people were arrested during an operation believed to have targeted Islamist militant Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the man behind last week's Paris shootings.