French terror suspects in phone contact, want ‘martyr’ death

Police officer block the access to Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, Friday Jan.9, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

DAMMARTIN-EN-GOELE, France (AP) — Two brothers suspected in a newspaper terror attack were cornered inside a printing house northeast of Paris on Friday, taking a hostage and telling police they “want to die as martyrs,” a lawmaker said.

Security forces streamed into the small industrial town of Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, in a massive operation to seize the men suspected of carrying out France’s deadliest terror attack in decades. One of the men had been convicted of terrorism charges in 2008, and a U.S. official said both brothers were on the American no-fly list.

Authorities evacuated a nearby school around midday Friday after the suspects agreed by phone to allow the children safe passage, town hall spokeswoman Audrey Taupenas told The Associated Press.

“They said they want to die as martyrs,” Yves Albarello, a local lawmaker who said he was inside the command post, told French television station i-Tele.

At least three helicopters hovered above the town. Nearby Charles de Gaulle airport closed two runways to arrivals to avoid interfering in the standoff, an airport spokesman said.

The town appealed to residents to stay inside their houses.

The men are suspected in the attack against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.

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