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Hostage Situation at Kosher Market in Paris

In today’s Daily Dispatch, we reported that the two suspects in this week’s Paris newspaper attack have taken a hostage. In more disturbing news from France – in an incident connected to the killing yesterday of a French policewoman – The Times of Israel reports that another hostage situation has developed at a kosher market in Paris:

Fresh shooting broke out in eastern Paris on Friday, as an armed man took at least six people hostage at a kosher grocery store, among them women and children.

French lawmaker Meyer Habib told Army Radio Friday that the hostages include “a family with kids, there shopping for Shabbat.”

Army Radio reported that the gunman told police he will not free the hostages unless the Charlie Hebdo attackers, who were holding one person hostage in eastern Paris in a standoff with French police, are allowed to go free.

Police confirmed Friday afternoon that the gunman 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.

Coulibaly was seen with Charlie Hebdo suspect Cherif Kouachi in 2010 during an investigation into an attempted prison break in France, police said. He was convicted for his role and was well-known to anti-terrorist police.

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.”

France Info radio reported that the shooter at the kosher market had two AK-47 rifles, and fired for around 20 seconds before taking hostages. He then phoned police to make contact.

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.

Tags: Terrorism , Europe

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