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Spanish police arrest ringleader believed to have supplied arms to Paris gunman

Police in Spain have detained a Frenchman who allegedly supplied arms to one of the gunmen linked to the Charlie Hebdo attack. The gunman staged a deadly assault on a Jewish supermarket just days after the main shooting.

A 27-year-old man was apprehended in Malaga, Spain on Wednesday for allegedly supplying guns to Amedy Coulibaly,

who attacked a kosher grocery store in Paris in 2015,

announced Spain's interior ministry.

In a statement, police identified the man as Antoine Denevi, a French man from the northern Sainte Catherine region, and said he was apprehended on Tuesday. He is suspected of

heading a weapons trafficking ring which provided the arms to Coulibaly.

He "left the neighboring country (France) weeks after the Paris attacks to escape police action, and settled in the province of Malaga from where he continued his illegal activities using fake papers," the police said.

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"It's also been determined that his activities were linked with people of Serbian origin, who may have facilitated his access to arms and munitions."

Spanish and French police forces participated in Tuesday's operation and detained two other people - one Serb and another from Montenegro.

Coulibaly was one of the three Islamic extremists who carried out attacks in Paris

from January 7-9 last year

, leaving 17 dead in total.

His two accomplices, the Kouachi brothers, shot 12 people at and near the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.

Just two days after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Coulibaly shot dead a police woman and took hostages at a kosher supermarket, where he eventually killed four Jews.

rs/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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