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Friday, January 9, 2015

Paris Suspects Cornered: 2 Hostage Situations

French security forces have swarmed a small industrial town northeast of Paris in an operation to capture—or, the country's interior minister says, "neutralize"—a pair of heavily armed suspects in the deadly storming of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The suspects are believed to be holed up in a printing business in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, about 25 miles northeast of Paris, and are thought to have at least one hostage, the Guardian reports. Meanwhile, a separate situation with multiple hostages was unfolding at kosher market in Paris, and it appears to be related, reports the BBC. The gunman there is believed to be the same one who fatally shot a policewoman in Paris yesterday, though the connection with suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi still wasn't clear. Several people have reportedly been wounded at the market.

The town of Dammartin-en-Goele, meanwhile, has been locked down, and while some residents say cellphones are no longer working, an official in the town has told the AP that phone communication has been established with the men. The suspects apparently agreed to allow a school near their location be evacuated. A lawmaker inside the command post tells French television the men "want to die as martyrs."The town is just 8 miles away from Charles de Gaulle Airport, where operations have been partially suspended, CNN reports. A BBC reporter in the town describes it as a "dramatic scene," with the area "rapidly filling up with thousands of French police and anti-terror forces," as well as a convoy of ambulances. The siege follows a huge manhunt for the Kouachi brothers, who had been on the US no-fly list for years before Wednesday's attack. Shots were fired as the brothers stole a car in the early morning hours today, says a French security official.

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