• Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Send to Kindle

BREAKING: Hostages Taken at Paris Kosher Supermarket

A suspect armed with two AK-47 rifles and who has reported ties to the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre earlier this week has taken hostages at a kosher supermarket near Paris today. Earlier reports said that two people had been killed, though this was denied by the French Interior Ministry.

The Times of Israel reports:

Police confirmed Friday afternoon that the gunman at the kosher market was the same man who killed a policewoman south of Paris on Thursday, and is linked to the assailants who stormed satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, killing 12 people. He was named as Amedy Coulibaly, 32. Authorities were looking into suspicions that he took part in the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Coulibaly is believed to have had a female accomplice in the shooting of the policewoman, according to the authorities, who identified her as Hayat Boumeddiene, 26. They were both described as “armed and dangerous.” …

An eyewitness at the kosher market told Le Monde that “people were shopping when a man entered and started firing everywhere.” The witness, who did not identify himself, said he was able to escape but heard more bursts of gunfire behind him. He said he only saw one gunman but a person waiting for him outside in the car told him several assailants were involved.

Friday is the store’s busiest day of the week. The Associated Press have reported that French police are ordering all shops to close in the Marais neighborhood in Paris, an area with a high Jewish population, but far from the kosher store under siege the neighborhood of Porte de Vincennes.

The New York Times reports that authorities say they “are sure” that Coulibaly knows Said and Cherif Kouachi, the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack.

A police source told Reuters details of the ties between Coulibaly and the Kouachis.

The three men were all members of the same Paris jihadist cell that a decade ago sent young French volunteers to Iraq to fight U.S. forces. …

[Coulibaly] was sentenced in 2010 for his role in a botched prison break-out of Smain Ali Belkacem, the author of a 1995 attack on the Paris transport system that killed eight people and wounded 120.

Cherif Kouachi was similarly implicated in that break-out attempt, but his case was eventually dropped.

The hostage situation at the kosher supermarket is occurring at the same time as the Kouachi brothers are holding a hostage north of Paris.

[Photo: FRANCE 24 English / YouTube ]