French police have a surrounded a warehouse at an industrial estate in Dammartin-en-Goele, where the two gunmen from Wednesday’s attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdon are believed to have taken a hostage.
Shots were fired at the location 22 miles north-east of Paris, and the suspects are reported to have shouted Islamist slogans and described themselves as “al-Qaeda, Yemen (AQAP)”.
Negotiators are in contact with the two suspects.
A senior US official told reporters that the Kouachi brothers suspected of being behind the attack had spent two months training in Yemen with the terror group, and both men were on the US no-fly list.
Armed police and members of the elite GIGN force arrived at the scene at 08:45 (07:45 GMT), and have been evacuating civilians from nearby businesses and homes.
Helicopters are in the air over the town, and the operation has affected flights in and out of nearby Charles de Gaulle airport, where air traffic controllers have changed landing and take-off patterns under the suspicion that the suspects are in possession of a rocket launcher.
Residents of Dammartin-en-Goele have been ordered to stay indoors, with the town’s website stating:
“Police operation in progress: All residents are required to stay at home. The children are confined and secure in schools”
Elsewhere, police are reported to have identified a suspect in the fatal shooting of a policewoman in Montrouge, south of Paris, which may be related to the Charlie Hebdo attack.
Livestream from Dammartin-en-Goele