Reports have suggested that Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed in raids on 18 November in Saint-Denis. According to the Washington Post, two "senior European intelligence officials" confirmed the death of the alleged mastermind behind the 13 November Paris attacks.

Speaking on Wednesday, Paris prosecutor François Molins said Abaaoud was not arrested during raids in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis. The identity of one of the two people who died has not yet been confirmed by French officials.

Molins said that due to the floor collapsing during the raid, identification of the bodies is taking longer than expected.

Abaaoud was thought to have returned to Syria, but French police sources on Wednesday confirmed that he was the target of the Saint-Denis operation in which two terrorists died, including a female suspect who detonated a vest rigged with explosives. Police sources have said the woman was Abaaoud's cousin.

27-year-old Abaaoud is also believed to be behind unsuccessful attacks on a high-speed train between Paris and Amsterdam and a church in Paris. In comments in the ISIS magazine Dabiq, he boasted about being able to move with ease between Syria, Belgium and the rest of Europe.

The suspects targeted in the raid were planning "imminent" attacks on Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport and a commercial centre in the city. "They were ready to act," added Molins.

The operation in Saint-Denis, near the Stade de France, started at 4:10am and involved 110 French security forces. Five police officers were wounded.

Over 350 Belgians have gone to fight in Syria, proportionally the biggest contingent from any European country.

The attacks in Paris on 13 November left 132 people dead and wounded more than 350 people.