Paris On Alert With Kosher Market Hostage Crisis And Standoff Near Airport
— Reuters Live (@ReutersLive) January 9, 2015
With the killings at the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper still fresh, Paris is on high alert after a man took hostages at a kosher market and law enforcement has a standoff with possible suspects in the Charlie Hebdo killings in a town near the Charles De Gaulle airport.
The city recently held large demonstrations to protest the killing of satirical cartoonists who had mocked Islam. Some of those involved in the attack that killed the cartoonists as well as two police officers were never captured and it is believed that at least some of them are involved in a standoff with police near the Charles De Gaulle airport. The standoff is causing massive delays on those trying to enter and leave the area.
A man carrying two guns reportedly taken people in a kosher super market hostage with one person already wounded. Reuters is reporting that the hostage taker is a member of the Islamic terrorist group that was responsible for the Charlie Hebdo killings.
There are two rapidly developing hostage situations in France right now. French anti-terrorist police sealed off a small northern town and helicopters hovered overhead after a police source said two men believed to have carried out an attack on Charlie Hebdo took at least one person hostage in a small print works.
Additionally, several people were taken hostage at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday after a shootout involving a man armed with two guns, a police source said. At least one person has been seriously wounded, according to our latest report. There were unconfirmed local media reports that the man was the same as the one suspected of killing a policewoman in a southern suburb of Paris on Thursday. A police source had told Reuters earlier he was a member of the same jihadist group as the two suspects in Wednesday’s attack at weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
The situation is still developing but can hardly be good news for those hoping things would return to normal after the Charlie Hebdo killings shook the country and became an international story. Nor can it be good news for those trying to find a way to cool tensions in France between the Muslim community and an increasingly Islamophobic wing of French politics.
If the hostage taker in the kosher market and Charlie Hebdo shooters were part of one cell and law enforcement takes them down the crisis may over, for now. Then again, this could be the beginning of a larger campaign now that France is participating in the effort to destroy ISIS in Syria.