Paris: As many as six members of a terrorist cell involved in the Paris attacks may still be at large, including a man who was seen driving a car registered to the widow of one of the slain gunmen, police officials have said.
Two French police officials said yesterday that authorities were searching the Paris area for the Mini Cooper registered to Hayat Boumeddiene, the widow of Amedy Coulibaly. She is now in Syria, according to Turkish officials.
The French police officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to discuss details of the investigation with the news media.
France deployed 10,000 troops to protect sensitive sites including Jewish schools and neighbourhoods in the wake of the attacks that killed 17 people last week. Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, as well as Coulibaly, their friend who claimed ties to Islamic extremists in the Middle East, died Friday in clashes with police.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the manhunt is urgent because "the threat is still present" after the attacks that began Wednesday with 12 people killed at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. A policewoman was killed Thursday, and four people were slain at a kosher supermarket Friday before the gunmen were killed by police in two nearly simultaneous clashes with security forces around Paris.
Paris' Marais district one of the country's oldest Jewish neighbourhoods was filled with police and soldiers by midday yesterday. About 4,700 of the security forces would be assigned to protect France's 717 Jewish schools, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.
"A little girl was telling me earlier that she wanted to live in peace and learn in peace in her school," Cazeneuve as on a visit to a Paris Jewish classroom, where the walls were covered with children's drawings of smiling faces.
"That's what the government, that's what the Republic, owes to all the children in France: security in all schools, especially in the schools that could be threatened," he added.
The children listened and waved both Israeli and French flags.
Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the nationwide deployment of troops would be completed by Tuesday and would focus on the most sensitive locations.
"The work on these attacks, on these terrorist and barbaric acts continues ... Because we consider that there are most probably some possible accomplices," Valls told BFM television.