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Hundreds of French police search for Paris jihadi gunman’s girlfriend

Hayat Boumeddiene (L) and Amedy  Coulibaly
Hayat Boumeddiene (L) and Amedy Coulibaly AFP/Police

Hundreds of extra police were deployed around Paris on Saturday as they hunted for Hayat Boumeddiene, the girlfriend of Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four hostages in a kosher supermarket while Charlie Hebdo killers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi were holed up in a town north-east of the capital.

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Police had named Boumeddiene as Coulibaly’s accomplice before he was killed at the end of the siege.

Five people, including a three-year-old boy, survived after hiding in the shop’s refrigerated room for five hours, with police pinpointing their location via their mobile phones.

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

Coulibaly, who killed a police officer and wounded a council worker on Thursday, told a TV station that he had coordinated his actions with the Kouachis.

Five-hundred extra police were deployed in the area around Paris as the search for Boumeddiene continued on Saturday, the defence ministry said.

She was said to be armed and dangerous.

President François Hollande warned that France still faces threats and chaired a meeting of his anti-terror crisis cell on Saturday morning.

Slideshow Charlie Hebdo

He announced that he would be attending Sunday’s rally in response to the Charlie Hebdo killings, along with world leaders including Britain’s David Cameron and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

After the sieges ended on Friday Hollande called on the French people to “rise up” and “defend the values of democracy, freedom and pluralism to which we are attacked”.

A leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, on whose behalf the Kouachis claimed to be acting, has threatened fresh attacks on France.

“It is better for you to stop your aggression against the Muslims, so perhaps you will live safely. If you refuse but to wage war, then wait for the glad tiding," Harith al-Nadhari said in a message, according to the Site monitoring group.

All necessary measures will be taken to ensure security for Sunday’s rally, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday.

Public transport will be free in the Paris region for the day.
 

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