French police hunt terror suspect's widow

Updated: 2015-01-10 20:59


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French police hunt terror suspect's widow

A boy gestures as he pays tribute to the victims of a hostage taking at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket near Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris, January 10, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Minutes after the print shop assault, police broke the second siege at the supermarket in eastern Paris. Four hostages died there along with the gunman, Amedy Coulibaly.

Coulibaly had also called BFM-TV to claim allegiance to Islamic State, saying he wanted to defend Palestinians and target Jews.

Coulibaly said he had jointly planned the attacks with the Kouachi brothers, and police confirmed they were all members of the same Islamist cell in northern Paris.

Police had already been hunting 32-year-old Coulibaly along with a 26 year-old woman after the killing on Thursday of a policewoman. The woman, Hayat Boumeddiene, remains on the run.

French police are hunting her, considered dangerous herself and the possible key to helping authorities dismantle what could be a terrorist network.

Hayat Boumeddiene wed Amedy Coulibaly in an Islamic religious ceremony in July 2009, a union not recognized by French law. A circular distributed Friday by French police said Boumeddiene should be considered dangerous and potentially armed.

Paris chief prosecutor Francois Molins told a press briefing that the two Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly had an arsenal of weapons and had set up booby traps. He said they had a loaded M82 rocket launcher, two Kalashnikov machine guns and two automatic pistols on them.

Altogether 17 victims have died along with the three hostage-takers since Wednesday.

France plans a unity rally on Sunday to protest against the attacks. Among those due to attend are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Ministers David Cameron of Britain, Matteo Renzi of Italy and Mariano Rajoy of Spain, and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

President Barack Obama also expressed US support. "I want the people of France to know that the United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow," he said.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder joined the condemnations, saying, "Jewish life in France under threat if terror does not stop".