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Paris police hunt for woman tied to supermarket siege

Mark Austin of Independent Television News talks to Judy Woodruff from Paris about the search for a woman believed to be involved in the supermarket hostage siege and how Parisians are feeling after the death of three terrorists.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Later, a Paris prosecutor said the hostages who died at the kosher grocery were killed by the gunman early on, not during the rescue.

    Moments ago, I spoke to Mark Austin of Independent Television News, who is on the ground in Paris.

    Mark Austin, thank you for talking with us.

    What's the latest you're hearing about authorities trying to find out how these men were able to pull this off?

  • MARK AUSTIN, ITN:

    Well, there's a great deal of effort going on tonight to find that out.

    I mean, the main issue at the moment is finding this woman who may have been involved in the supermarket siege, Hayat Boumeddiene. The police have said they thought she was in there. She is now missing. And there is a hunt going on for her, although the information I'm getting is that it's not at all clear the role she has played in this, though they do believe that she played some sort of role.

    And that in many ways, you know, Judy, indicated just how little intelligence the authorities had got on these people. They were on their radar some years ago. One of them was in prison for terrorist offenses some years ago. But they seemed to have fallen away in the minds of the police.

    And I think that's causing a great deal of frustration and maybe even embarrassment in the security services here, although, of course, the security forces themselves have brought this thing to an end quite successfully today.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Is there a sense, Mark, on the part of people you're talking to in Paris that they're worried still, that they're still on edge, or is it more a sense of relief that this is over?

  • MARK AUSTIN:

    I think there's a sense of huge relief tonight, to be honest.

    I think there was a feeling yesterday that the one — that the hunt for the two Charlie Hebdo killers could go on. And they were searching a forest. And that could have taken quite some time. And of course it came to quite a dramatic conclusion today.

    But then you had this second siege, not one, but two terrorist sieges going on, unprecedented in this city, unprecedented in most cities, to be honest. The security forces were stretched to their limit, so I think a good deal of relief tonight that it's come to an end, but also an edginess that this was allowed to happen, first of all, and also that one of these terrorists appears to be still on the run tonight.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    So, attitude toward police, toward security forces right now is what? What would you say?

  • MARK AUSTIN:

    Look, I think there is a general satisfaction here with the way things were dealt with today. It's a great shame. There is great sadness here. Four more innocent lives were lost.

    You only have to look behind me here at this shrine for those who died in the Charlie Hebdo killings. I mean, we have had hundreds of people come here throughout the day, thousands of people come here throughout the day. So there is a great sadness here and huge relief.

    And — but there will be questions, no doubt, of the intelligence services over why these men and perhaps a woman was allowed to do this.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Mark Austin with Independent Television News, we thank you.

  • MARK AUSTIN:

    Thank you very much, indeed.

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