France - Syria - Turkey

Supermarket hostage-taker’s wife in Syria, Turkish officials

Passersby pay tribute to Coulibaly's victims at Porte de Vincennes on Saturday
Passersby pay tribute to Coulibaly's victims at Porte de Vincennes on Saturday Reuters/Yves Herman

The sole remaining suspect wanted in this week’s killing spree in France, Hayat Boumeddiene, was reported to have left the country and was believed to be in Syria on Saturday.


Turkish security sources say the partner of kosher supermarket hostage-taker Amedy Coulibaly entered Turkey on 2 January and is believed to have moved on to the south-eastern city of Sanliurfa before crossing into Syria.

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Turkish sources told the AFP news agency they did not arrest her because of a lack of intelligence from France.

If confirmed, it means Boumeddiene, 26, was not in France at the time of Thursday's deadly shooting of police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe in Paris, as French authorities first believed, or at Friday’s grocery store siege.

She is France's most wanted woman but hunting her down now looks more complicated.

She is suspected of being Coulibaly‘s accomplice both in the supermarket siege and in Jean-Philippe's murder on Thursday in Paris.

French police describe her as "armed and dangerous".

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Sources said the couple were seen together in Paris late Thursday getting out of a taxi.

But Turkish security sources say she left for Turkey to reach Syria at the beginning of the year.

Boumeddiene was one of seven children.

Her mother died when she was six and she grew up in foster care.

She wed Coulibaly at a religious ceremony in 2009 and the couple lived in a modest apartment in Paris.

She lost her job as a cashier because she insisted on wearing the full-face veil known as a niqab.

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