Paris shooting: Grocery store hostage takers had once visited Malaysia

Paris shooting: Grocery store hostage takers had once visited Malaysia
A call for witnesses released by the Paris Prefecture de Police shows Hayat Boumeddiene and Amedy Coulibaly.

PETALING JAYA - Foreign media reports are claiming that the couple who took hostages at a Paris grocery store had once travelled to Malaysia.

The reports did not give specific dates as to when they visited Malaysia but quoted sources as saying that they travelled together to Malaysia for a holiday.

Amedy Coulibaly, 32, and his girlfriend, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, lived in the Paris suburb of Bagneux, where neighbours were quoted as saying that the two were a "devoutly religious couple".

They were quiet, respectful and normal, but disappeared from their suburban home about a month ago, the reports added.

According to French judicial documents, a police search of Coulibaly's residence in 2010 turned up a crossbow, 240 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, films and photos of him during a trip to Malaysia, as well as letters seeking false official documents.

Coulibaly was shot dead after taking hostages at a Paris kosher grocery store in a second stand-off on Friday.

He had demanded the freedom of the two brothers - Cheris, 32 and Said Kouachi, 34 - who were behind the massacre of 12 people at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday. That assault led to a massive police manhunt that ended in a hostage-taking standoff at a printing plant in a village 30km from Paris.

Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers were shot dead by the police.

Boumeddiene is believed to have escaped and is now on the run, becoming France's most wanted woman.

She is considered armed and dangerous.

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