French police were honoring an anti-terror police dog named Diesel that died Wednesday morning during a police raid in Saint-Denis, a northern Paris suburb, when a female suicide bomber blew herself up. The seven-hour raid ended with two deaths and seven arrests, and officials said five police officers suffered light injuries.
Diesel was a 7-year-old Belgian shepherd trained to sniff out explosives. The Police Nationale in France confirmed the dog's death via Twitter.
“Assault and explosives search dogs: indispensable in the missions of the operators of the raid,” the translated tweet read.
— Police Nationale (@PNationale) November 18, 2015
“It’s a little like losing one of our colleagues,” said one police dog handler, according to the Daily Mail. Tributes began pouring out Wednesday morning commemorating Diesel and praising him for “dying to defend our colors.”
The Saint-Denis raid was part of a nationwide manhunt targeting suspects Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Salah Abdeslam. Abaaoud is the suspected mastermind of the terror attacks that took place in Paris last Friday that killed 129 and left hundreds wounded. Police sources told BFMTV, a local CNN affiliate, that they had placed the woman who was the female suicide bomber under surveillance several days ago on suspicion she was sheltering Abaaoud, who is reported to be her cousin.
The firefight began around 4:30 a.m. when French special forces and SWAT teams surrounded the apartment building on Rue du Corbillon in Saint-Denis, during which at least seven explosions and heavy gunfire could be heard at the scene. It was still unclear Wednesday morning whether Abaaoud was among the arrested or killed, but government officials confirmed the raid concluded after seven hours and detectives and forensic scientists were allowed to enter the apartment.
On Wednesday, the French Council of Ministers said authorities have finished identifying all 129 who were killed in the various bars, restaurants, concert hall and the national stadium that were targeted by the attackers.
Police dog is honoured for 'dying to defend our colours' after being killed by suicide bomber https://t.co/KZlbLNgrWj
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) November 18, 2015
— Hampshire Fire Dogs (@HantsFireDogs) November 18, 2015
_Diesel 7-yr old police dog (Disesel- killed during raid),has more humanity, honor&dignity than all attackers,spnsrs pic.twitter.com/NaFeraGF9o
— Hasan Sari (@HasanSari7) November 18, 2015