Paris: Europe was on high alert with at least one of the Paris attackers on the run, as France and Russia formed an unusual alliance against the Islamic State jihadists who have claimed the worst attacks in French history.
In a sign of the nervousness after Friday’s carnage in Paris, a football match last night between Germany and the Netherlands — which German Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to attend — was cancelled and the crowd evacuated after police acted on a “serious” bomb threat.
The friendly match in the northern German city of Hanover had been intended as a “symbol of freedom” after the shooting spree and suicide bombings in Paris, which left at least 129 people dead.
“We received a serious indication that a bomb attack was planned inside the stadium tonight,” Hanover police chief Volker Kluwe told ARD.
In Paris, video footage confirmed that a ninth man took part in the attacks — meaning a second assailant could still be on the run alongside fugitive Salah Abdeslam, unless the man is one of two suspected accomplices being held in Belgium.
Sources close to the investigation said a third man is now believed to have been in the black Seat car used by Abdeslam and his brother Brahim as they gunned down people at bars and restaurants in central Paris.
As police in both France and Belgium stepped up the hunt for 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam yesterday, French and Russian jets pounded IS targets in the group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqa for a third consecutive day.
France and Russia have vowed merciless retaliation for the Paris attacks and last month’s bombing of a Russian airliner, also claimed by IS, which have galvanised international resolve to destroy the jihadists and end the more than four-year Syrian war.
“It’s necessary to establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said as France prepared to send an aircraft carrier to the eastern Mediterranean.
French President Francois Hollande will meet Putin in Moscow on November 26, two days after seeing US President Barack Obama in Washington.
In grieving France, police racked up arrests and seized weapons as they searched for clues after the wave of coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers on a stadium, bars and restaurants, and a concert venue that have shaken the country to its core.
Police issued the photograph of one of the three men who blew themselves up outside the Stade de France. Investigators have established that the man entered Europe through Greece as hundreds of thousands of refugees have done this year.