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Manhunt In France Centers On Industrial Town

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are learning the story right along with you. We're all working it out together. Two situations in the Paris area today, both involving gunmen, hostage situations possibly, both of them -apparently both of them. And the one in which we're going to discuss first - there's a kosher supermarket in the eastern part of Paris. Our colleague Lauren Frayer watched on video as people were hustled out of that building immediately after we heard live on the air here descriptions of explosions and other sounds in the area. We're going now to the area of that market, back to NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, who is there. And, Eleanor, what have you been hearing the last few minutes and what are you able to learn where you are?

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Yes, well, we heard like five - boom - big explosions. And we of course were kept back, the police, the riot police and there's police tape - the crowds - we're standing at the periphery of it. And I was just told by a French reporter who covers this, a cameraman, he said they've given the assault. They have started the assault on the supermarket. I think it's done now, and that those they were grenades, deafening grenades - I don't know (speaking French) in French and so - and now I see police - there's police cars coming out from the area. So I think it's unfolding now. I think it's been done.

INSKEEP: You'll help us with the translation there. When you say grenades, you probably don't mean hand grenades that would cause a deadly explosion...

BEARDSLEY: No.

INSKEEP: ...But some kind of stun grenade or flash grenade, right?

BEARDSLEY: Yes. Here they come. OK, the (inaudible) the ambulance has come and passed, lights flashing, coming-out of the cordoned off, (inaudible) blocked area. Yes, the sound grenades that would deafen the hostage takers amid chaos. Another ambulance is coming out.

(CROSSTALK)

INSKEEP: So our early sense is that an assault was made on the building, an attempt was made to rescue the hostages. There has been that video that appeared to show people being hustled out of the building, which raises the hope that some or all of the hostages were rescued alive, although we're going to have to wait for that information. Is there anything else you can add right now, Eleanor Beardsley?

BEARDSLEY: The same reporter - there seems to be information in the French media that the two brothers have been killed in the north, in the other assault. My colleague Lauren is watching that unfolding live on TV, so maybe this is a coordinated attack on the two.

INSKEEP: We must emphasize that is a thoroughly unconfirmed bit of information there. But we do know, we do know from our colleague Lauren Frayer that there had been signs of an assault in the other location. That, for those who were just joining us, is in a town outside of Paris where two suspects in this week's Paris massacre were hold up, reportedly with a hostage. And there were signs of an assault earlier today. In the next few minutes, we're going to learn more about that. And we are continuing to cover this story. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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