(Update: According to AP, a French lawmaker said that police negotiating with the two terror suspects currently holed up in a printing business outside of Paris declared that they are ready to "die as martyrs." In a related development, a third terrorist - who allegedly shot to death a police officer on January 8 - has taken mostly female hostages at a kosher market in Paris. Thousands of police have been deployed.)
 
Reportedly, thousands of French police and security forces are ringed around the northeastern town of Dammartin-en-Goele in the Seine-et-Marne region as the manhunt continues for two suspects in the deadly January 7 terrorist attack in Paris. At least two runways at the nearby Charles DeGaulle international airport have been closed as a security measure. The Interior Minister of France, Bernard Cazeneuve, said today that security forces are conducting an operation to catch the Franco-Algerian brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, in an area approximately 35 miles northeast of Paris.
 
Police have requested members of the media to remain behind police lines for their own safety. Reports are sketchy: the interior ministry dismissed reports of arrests.
Shots were fired this morning as police chased a car believed to contain the suspects, but there were no casualties officials. A hostage has been taken. According to local reports, they are now holed up in a building owned by a printing company in a commercial complex that includes an ALDI warehouse. Students and faculty at nearby schools have been told to remain in place.
 
According to reports from FRANCE24, negotiations are now ongoing between the terrorists and law enforcement.
 
The Kouachi brothers are suspected of killing at least twelve persons at Charlie Hebdo – a leftist satirical magazine that has long been known for printing cartoons of Muhammed that Muslims found offensive. Nine persons have been arrested since the incident. On January 8, a police officer was shot to death in Paris in an incident that remains unresolved. The perpetrator in that instance is still at large.


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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