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France says Belgian masterminded attacks

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PARIS  — The latest on the deadly attacks in Paris. (All times French local time):

2:20 p.m.

A local official says the massive police operation in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek has ended and that no one was injured.

Mayor Francoise Schepmans said Monday that the operation ended after more than three hours. It was unclear whether there was a major arrest during the operation which centered on a suspect in the Paris attacks.

Two small explosions were heard and dozens of masked and heavily armed security officials had sealed off the area and neighbors were told to stay out of harm's way.

Police arrested three suspects in the impoverished Brussels neighborhood on Saturday and continued house searches.

For more on the Paris attacks, go here.

2:05 p.m.

Activists say French airstrikes on the northern Syrian city of Raqqa did not kill civilians and only hit military targets in the Islamic State group's de facto capital.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Monday the French targeted military facilities on the northern and southern edges of the city.

He says there are casualties among IS but did not provide numbers.

Sarmad al-Jilane, of the Raqqa-based collective called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, said the city is tense, with few people venturing out even though markets are open.

France's Defense Ministry said 12 aircraft dropped a total of 20 bombs Sunday night in the biggest air strikes since France extended its bombing campaign against the extremist group to Syria in September.

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2:00 p.m.

The lawyer for Mohammad Abdeslam, one of the brothers of a dead suicide bomber in the Paris attacks, has been released after he had been detained over the weekend. Another brother, Salah Abdeslam, is the object of a massive manhunt.

Brahim Abdeslam died when he detonated his suicide vest on Friday.

Mohamed Abdeslam's lawyer, Nathalie Gallant, told the RTL network that her client "hadn't made the same choice of life."

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1:45 p.m.

A French police union is calling for the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, which authorities consider a focal point for extremists and fighters, to come under EU security control, saying the government has ceded the area to the Islamic State group.

The neighborhood, which police raided Monday in a sweep for the fugitive Frenchman suspected in the Paris attacks, was home to the Belgian Islamic State jihadi believed to be behind the attacks and two other thwarted attempts.

The France Police union said Belgium's national institutions failed and demanded "necessary measures to protect the Belgian and European populations from terrorism." The EU has no provisions for the demand, which appeared to be largely a sign of frustration with what some are calling a massive security failure.

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1:40 p.m.

Police were standing guard outside the two major French elementary and high schools in Ireland's capital on Monday. Both schools asked parents to ensure that their children went straight inside to classrooms, not linger outside at the entrance or in playgrounds.

They also said parents seeking to enter the schools would have to identify themselves to security staff and give the reason for their visit.

"There is no particular concern in Ireland, but we must be vigilant," school directors said in a message to parents and the school's approximately 500 pupils, thanking them "for your understanding, your help and your solidarity."

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1:30 p.m.

Two small explosions were heard during a major police action in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek amid a manhunt for a suspect in the Paris attacks. Dozens of masked and heavily armed security officials had sealed off the area and neighbors were told to stay out of harm's way.

Police refused to provide any details about who may have set off the explosions or the purpose for them.

Two hours into the siege a first explosion was heard and a similar followed it one hour later on a higher floor of a building with special security forces close by on roofs.

Police arrested three suspects in the impoverished Brussels neighborhood on Saturday and continued house searches. The special action began early Monday.12:20 p.m.

A Russian official has revealed a possible plot ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, saying female suicide bombers had planned to smuggle explosives onto an aircraft in hand cream.

Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov, who has responsibility for counter-terrorism, said the women were detained in Austria and France.

The head of Russia's FSB security services said in July that many countries had helped to prevent an array of attacks at the Olympics — primarily Austria, France, Germany, Georgia and the U.S. — but no details were given.

The Sochi Games were held amid high concern that insurgents from nearby restive Caucasus republics including Chechnya were planning attacks.

Syromolotov, whose comments were carried by Russian news agencies, spoke Monday before the upper house of Russia's parliament.
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1:10 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron joined French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and other European leaders at a G-20 summit for a minute of silence in honor of the 129 victims Paris attacks.

Standing between the French and the European Union flags, the leaders stood in silence at 1100GMT Monday, at the same time as French President Francois Hollande observed a minute of silence to along with schoolchildren and bystanders in Paris.

Black ribbons were tied around the French and EU flags in a mark of mourning. The leaders were seen hugging Fabius at the end of ceremony.

G-20 leaders are meeting on the sidelines of the summit at the Turkish seaside resort of Antalya to discuss next steps in Syria and the Islamic State campaign

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12:20 p.m.

A Russian official has revealed a possible plot ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, saying female suicide bombers had planned to smuggle explosives onto an aircraft in hand cream.

Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov, who has responsibility for counter-terrorism, said the women were detained in Austria and France.

The head of Russia's FSB security services said in July that many countries had helped to prevent an array of attacks at the Olympics — primarily Austria, France, Germany, Georgia and the U.S. — but no details were given.

The Sochi Games were held amid high concern that insurgents from nearby restive Caucasus republics including Chechnya were planning attacks.

Syromolotov, whose comments were carried by Russian news agencies, spoke Monday before the upper house of Russia's parliament.