UPDATE 12:13 pm EST: Five people are dead, including the gunman, at the kosher market in Paris, security sources told the AFP.
Some reports stated at least six hostages were at the kosher shop, while other reports indicate there may have been as many as 16. Women and children are believed to be among the hostages.
11:16 am EST: Two hostage situations are currently unfolding in Paris, one taking place at a kosher supermarket and both believed to be tied to this week’s deadly attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
News agencies are reporting that the suspects in the kosher supermarket are threatening to kill hostages if police raid the second site, a printing plant.
The suspects in this week’s lethal attack on a satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo are believed to be in the printing plant, and a man — and possibly his girlfriend — who have ties to the Charlie Hebdo attackers are believed to be in the supermarket.
The supermarket situation occurred after noon Paris time at Cash Cacher Naouri, in Paris’ 12th arrondissement.
Chlomik Zenouda, vice president of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, has been speaking to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to relay updated news as it unfolds.
“Ten people are being held hostage and one person, probably a member of the Jewish community, was wounded in the takeover,” he told JTA.
Several schools are on lockdown and police have ordered shops near rue de Rosiers, a Jewish area, to close early. Many Jewish shoppers were expected to congregate in the neighborhood ahead of the start of Shabbat.
Thursday, a police officer in the suburb of Montrouge south of Paris was shot and killed. Insiders say suspects in today’s hostage-taking have ties to that killer, as well as the Charlie Hebdo shooting, which left 12 dead this week, including Jewish cartoonist Georges Wolinski.
The culprits in the connected plot are believed to be Islamic extremists–Charlie Hebdo was targeted after publishing a slew of cartoons mocking the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
This is part of an evolving story. Jspace will update as news comes in.