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In Paris And To Its North, 2 Standoffs Develop

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Associated Press is now reporting that the assailants in the Charlie Hebdo shooting have been killed after an assault, and that hostage has been freed. That is according to The Associate Press. We have not been able to independently confirm that at this time.We're going to work through what we know so far about the dramatic assaults, nearly simultaneous assaults on two different locations inside and outside Paris where gunmen were holed up and surrounded by authorities. Reporter Lauren Frayer has been with us all morning on the story. And she's on the line once again. And, Lauren, what is it that you are able to tell us, first, about the situation in the small town outside Paris where the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting have been holed up?

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: So they were held up there for nearly eight hours all day. This was at a printing factory northeast of Paris. It started early this morning. They stole a local woman's car. She recognized them immediately and called police. And then they took refuge in this factory. They were believed to be heavily armed and dangerous. Residents in the area were told to stay in lockdown. Schoolchildren were kept in their high school nearby all day. It took all day. And finally, about 20 minutes ago, we saw explosions and smoke rising from that building.It was really a dramatic scene because just as dusk was falling over Paris and its suburbs, we saw black cloud figures scaling the walls of that building where the suspects were believed to be holed up. And we assumed that those were security troops. Officials have not confirmed that operation. But French media are reporting now that those two suspects have been killed. That they came out of the building firing on security officials. That's according to French media. We can't independently reconfirm that.

INSKEEP: OK. So that's one more fact. We need to make it a provisional fact for now that that operation is over. We do feel confident that there has been some kind of an operation because of the images that we're able to see of the assault on that building, the appearance of smoke and other things. And this is of course one of two incidents. Bring us up to date on the other incident, the other hostage situation - much more clear hostage situation - at a kosher market where at least one gunman was holding several people. What have you been able to learn there Lauren Frayer?

FRAYER: So there have been really dramatic pictures coming out of that other hostage situation. French television cameras have been set up outside of that situation all day. And we're getting sort of aerial pictures of what is going on right there. Huge swarm of dozens of ambulances, police, white vans people, people in SWAT team gear swarming that area, lots of sirens, lots of lights. But just about 10 minutes ago, we saw security officials surrounding three or four people in civilian dress. We don't know who they are, but it looked like it could have been hostages being escorted quickly out of that building. I watched them cross the street under heavy guard, running, struggling to get over behind the sort of cordon of ambulances.

INSKEEP: Right.

FRAYER: And French media right now are reporting that those were the hostages and that they have been freed. But again, security officials are not coming out and announcing that just yet.

INSKEEP: OK. Lauren, thanks for your clarity. That's Lauren Frayer today in Paris. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.