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Hostage-taking underway north-east of Paris

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A hostage-taking was underway Friday near Paris' main airport after police hunting the Islamist brothers who killed 12 people earlier this week exchanged fire with two men during a car chase, security sources said.

[PARIS] A hostage-taking was underway Friday near Paris' main airport after police hunting the Islamist brothers who killed 12 people earlier this week exchanged fire with two men during a car chase, security sources said.

The number of people seized was not immediately confirmed.

The hostage-taking followed a pursuit along the National 2 highway, ending in the small town of Dammartin-en-Goele, around 12km from Charles de Gaulle international airport.

The suspects were holed up in a small printing business named CTD, a source close to the investigation said. "It's not sure how many people are inside," the source said.

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Prior to the standoff, the suspects had hijacked a Peugeot 206 in Montagny-Sainte-Felicite from a woman who said she recognised them as the wanted men, a police source said.

The standoff was close to the same area where special police forces had been combing the countryside for the brothers.

Friday's drama unfolded almost 48 hours into a massive manhunt launched after the brothers burst into the office of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and gunned down staff members and two policemen, saying they were taking revenge for the magazine's publication of cartoons offensive to many Muslims.

AFP

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