France manhunt turns hostage crises

AP and AFP

French security forces struggled with two rapidly developing hostage situations Friday, one northeast of Paris where two terror suspects were holed up with a hostage in a printing plant and the other an attack on a kosher market in Paris involving at least five hostages.

France has been high alert for more attacks since the country’s worst terror attack in decades �X the massacre Wednesday in Paris that left 12 people dead at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The two brothers suspected in the newspaper slayings were cornered by police Friday inside a printing house in the small industrial town of Dammartin-en-Goele. One lawmaker said they told negotiators they ��want to die as martyrs.��

Hours later, a gunman seized an unknown number of hostages at a kosher market in eastern Paris, France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor said. A police official, who was not authorized to speak to the media about the events, told The Associated Press the man who has taken five people hostage in a kosher market appears linked to the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Police SWAT squads descended on the area near Paris’ Porte de Vincennes neighborhood and France’s top security official rushed to the scene. The attack came before sundown when the market would have been crowded with shoppers.

The police official said the gunman opened fire in the market Friday declaring ��You know who I am.�� Paris police had released a photo of Amedy Coulibaly as a suspect in the killing Thursday of a Paris policewoman, and the official named him as the man holed up in the market. The official said some hostages have been gravely wounded.

He said a second suspect, a woman named Hayet Boumddiene, is the gunman’s accomplice. Police said 100 students were under lockdown in schools near the market.

Paris Hostage-taker ‘knows’ One Charlie Hebdo Killer: Source The gunman holding hostages in kosher supermarket knew at least one of the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a source told AFP. Amedy Coulibaly, 32, wanted over the killing of a policewoman on Thursday, is thought to be the man holed up with hostages in the grocery store at the Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris. At least two people have been killed in the stand-off, a source told AFP. Coulibaly is believed to have links to Cherif Kouachi, also 32, one of the two men suspected of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre on Wednesday that killed 12.

Kouachi and Coulibaly were seen together in 2010 while visiting another jihadist Djamel Beghal, mastermind of a failed prison break-out plot.

Coulibaly was convicted for his part in the planned break and was well-known to anti-terrorist police. Charges against Kouachi were dropped in the case.