UPDATED 01/10/15, 8:27 p.m. EST: Hayat Boumeddiene, once a suspect in Thursday’s police killing in Paris, wasn’t even in the country at all last week, CNN reports. The 26-year-old left France on either January 1st or 2nd. Links close to France’s security claim Boumeddiene crossed Spain’s border, flew to Istanbul from Madrid, then tried crossing into Syria by foot.
This conflicts with earlier reports saying Boumeddiene was with boyfriend Amedy Coulibaly when he held up a Paris kosher store Friday. Officials initially believed she escaped the store with other hostages as officers stormed the store and killed Coulibaly. However, no witnesses were able to place her at that location.
UPDATED 01/10/15, 12:32 p.m. EST: Boumeddiene, who remains on the lam from Paris authorities, had previously exchanged 500 phone calls with Cherif Kouachi’s wife, ABC News reports. In addition, Boumeddiene and Coulibaly had spent the previous year in close contact with one of the main suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Paris Public Prosecutor’s office says.
UPDATED 01/09/15, 1:50 p.m. EST: Hayat Boumeddiene, Coulibaly’s girlfriend and second suspect in Thursday’s cop shooting, apparently escaped from the grocery store as hostages ran away. There is now a manhunt for the 26 year old. She is the only surviving suspect from both hostage situations, CNN reports.
UPDATED 01/09/15, 11:53 a.m. EST: Officials have reportedly stormed the kosher store and shot Amedy Coulibaly dead, the Associated Press reports. His remaining hostages were also seen leaving the store. Additionally, Said and Cherif Kouachi were reportedly also killed during their simultaneous standoff with officers in a Northeast Paris printing warehouse, police claim. Their hostages have reportedly managed to escape.
France has been high alert since the country’s worst terror attack in decades — the massacre Wednesday in Paris at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.
Two al-Qaida-linked brothers suspected in the Charlie Hebdo killings came out of their hideaway with guns blazing Friday, a French police official said. Brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, killed in a shootout and their hostage was freed, authorities said.
Another gunman who took at least five hostages Friday afternoon at a kosher grocery in Paris also died in a nearly simultaneous raid there, said Gael Fabiano of the UNSA police union. The gunman was identified as Amedy Coulibaly.
Two police officials also confirmed Coulibaly’s death and one said three hostages also died at the grocery. The two police officials were not allowed to give their names to speak about the quickly developing situation. None of the officials could say what happened to the woman listed on a police bulletin as his accomplice.
Paris police are currently engaging in a standoff with an armed man, Amedy Coulibaly (pictured right) in Eastern Paris, the New York Daily News reports.
The 32-year-old Coulibaly reportedly killed a policewoman in the city Thursday, officers report.
On Friday, the fugitive took five hostages at a kosher store in the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood, where he remains holed up. Two people in the store have been reported killed thus far.
Watch live coverage of the hostage situation here:
Additional reports suggest Coulibaly is armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle. That happens to be the exact weapon used in Wednesday’s attack on Charlie Hebdo.
Authorities have linked Coulibaly to Cherif Kouachi, one of two remaining suspects in the mass shooting at the paper.
Coulibaly has a minor rap sheet: Officials indicted him in 2013 for his efforts to free convicted terrorist Smain Ait Ali Belkacem; Kouachi was also arrested in that incident.
The standoff comes as officers have surrounded Kouachi and brother Said in a warehouse with their own hostage. Coulibaly has demanded police let the brothers go.
Coulibaly’s girlfriend, Hayat Boumeddiene (pictured left of Coulibaly), is also wanted in the policewoman’s murder.
More as it comes.