9 Jan 2015

Gunman dead in kosher store siege in eastern Paris

Police tell Reuters at least four hostages killed at Jewish supermarket in eastern Paris as the standoff comes to an end.

Police say at least four hostages have been killed at kosher supermarket in the north east of Paris, with the gunman dead after a dramatic rescue operation by special forces.

The hostage taker, named locally as 32-year-old Amedy Coulibaly, was understood to be the same suspect that killed a policewoman in a southern suburb of Paris on Thursday.

The standoff came after a dramatic hour in which the hostage taker reportedly threatened to kill his captees if an assault was launched on the two brothers suspected of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, who had been surrounded by police in an industrial estate in the north east of Paris.

Shortly afterwards gunfire and explosions were heard as police moved in to the industrial estate, with similar scenes at the deli around 10 to 20 minutes later.

Pictures are emerging of what appeared to be flash-bang explosions, designed to distract hostage takers before a major rescue operation.

Just before 5pm Reuters reported that at least five hostages had been killed.

Earlier on Friday, French police issued an appeal for two suspects linked to the killing of the policewoman Clarissa Jean-Philippe in Montrouge.

It named Coulibaly and Hayat Boumeddienne, 26. As of 5pm on Wednesday, the whereabouts of Boumeddienne were not known.