Seven, including three suspects dead in twin hostage crisis in Paris

French President expected to appear in a public address once situation is cleared by police


Reuters/afp January 09, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: French anti-terrorist police sealed off a small northern town and helicopters hovered overhead after a police source said two men believed to have carried out an attack on a satirical journal took at least one person hostage in a small print works.

Earlier, police had chased a vehicle at high speed along a main road heading towards Paris as one of France's biggest security operations in recent times unfolded. Gunshots rang out and the suspects abandoned their car in Dammartin-en-Goele, a small town of about 8,000 residents.

Police trucks, ambulances and armored vehicles descended on the area close to Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport after the suspects took refuge with at least one hostage in a building on an industrial estate, according to police sources.



10:25pm

French President Francois Hollande to address nation after sieges ends.

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10:15pm

According to security sources, five individuals, including a gunman, and two suspects had died while four others were critically wounded in the Paris supermarket hostage crisis, AFP reports.

 



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9:35pm

According to security sources, the Paris supermarket hostage-taker has been 'neutralised'.



PHOTO: AFP

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9:30pm

The Charlie Hebdo suspects had come out firing on security forces, source tell AFP.

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9:20pm

Charlie Hebdo suspects killed in police assault, while the hostage is freed and is safe.

In a simultaneous operation at the Jewish supermarket in Paris, gunfire was heard and people were seen running away from the building. Several hostages were freed at the supermarket, AFP reported.

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9:17pm

Three explosions were heard as commandos launch on assault on Paris Jewish supermarket.

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9:05pm

French commandos launched an assault and explosions were heard at a building where the Charlie Hebdo suspects were holed up with a hostage.

The operation is unfolding at a printing firm in a small town northeast of Paris.

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9:00pm

Smoke rising on AFP live video signal from Danmartin hostage scene near Paris. Gunshots and several explosions heard.



PHOTO: AFP

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8:55pm

Muslims in France were called to pay homage at Friday prayers to the 12 victims of this week's magazine massacre which has stoked fears of Islamophobia in a country that has struggled to integrate its millions-strong Islamic minority.

Read the full story here.

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8:15pm

Israel expressed concern Friday over a "terror offensive" in France after a gunman stormed a Paris kosher supermarket in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre and the killing of a policewoman.

"Israel is following the situation in Paris with concern," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in statement.

"The terrorist offensive taking place over the past three days is not only against the French people or France's Jews but against the entire free world."

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8:05pm

French president’s office says Franco-German Summit postponed at request of EU Parliament President Martin Schulz, French President Francois Hollande's office said.

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7:24pm

The man holding hostages in a kosher grocery on Friday knew at least one of the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a source told AFP.

Amedy Coulibaly, 32, was seen with Charlie Hebdo suspect Cherif Kouachi in 2010 during an investigation into an attempted prison break in France.

Coulibaly was convicted for his role and was well-known to anti-terrorist police.

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7:10pm


French police forcibly stop young people on a scooter as they arrive near the scene of a hostage taking at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris. PHOTO: REUTERS

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7:06pm

One person was seriously wounded in the hostage-taking incident at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday, a police union source said, according to Reuters.

The interior ministry denied press reports that two people had been killed.

Police sources said one person was injured after being shot.

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7:01pm

At least two people were shot dead Friday during a hostage-taking drama at a Jewish supermarket in eastern Paris, where at least five people were being held, official sources told AFP.

"There are at least two dead, maybe more, but for the moment we don't know," one source said.

French officials suspect a man responsible for the murder of a policewoman in the street of a southern Paris suburb on Thursday could be the hostage-taker.

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6:22pm

Here is an AFP map showing the locations of the gun attacks.



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6:18pm

Surviving employees of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper that lost its top staff to gunmen in a Paris attack this week, started work on a new issue Friday in premises loaned by the newspaper Liberation.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin visited Liberation in a show of support for the journalists, cartoonists and others shown into the building in central eastern Paris.

Read full story here.

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6:08pm

At least one person was injured when a gunman opened fire at the kosher grocery store in eastern Paris on Friday and took at least five people hostage, sources told AFP.

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6:01pm

Several people were taken hostage at the kosher supermarket in eastern Paris.

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5:42pm

Elite police units are trying to establish dialogue with two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre holed up in a small business outside Paris with a hostage, an interior ministry spokesperson said.

"The priority is to resolve this crisis in the smoothest way possible, that is without violence. The priority is to establish contact" with the suspects, Pierre-Henry Brandet told BFMTV.

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5:39pm

Fresh shooting broke out in eastern Paris, with reports that an armed man had taken a hostage at a kosher grocery store, a source told AFP.

The gunman was suspected of being the same man who killed a policewoman in southern Paris on Thursday, who is thought to have links to the assailants who stormed satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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Notes are posted on a wall near the offices of weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. PHOTO: REUTERS


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5:25pm

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which angered Muslims by publishing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 10 years ago, will not republish Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons due to security concerns, the only major Danish newspaper not to do so.

“It shows that violence works,” the newspaper stated in its editorial on Friday.

Read full story here.

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5:20pm

Police quickly blocked all entrances to the town seeking to limit the scale of any siege and confine the suspects, French-born sons of Algerian-born parents. Residents were asked to stay off the streets.

"All residents are requested to remain at home. Children are to be kept safe in school,” the municipal website said.

The two suspects have been on the run since they stormed the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper on Wednesday, killing ten journalists and two police officers in an attack that raised security fears across the world. The journal was known for its irreverent satirical treatment of Islam as well as other religions and political leaders.

Yves Albarello, local MP for the Seine-et-Marne department and member of the crisis cell put in place by authorities, told iTELE the two suspects had let it be known that they wanted to die “as martyrs”.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet told iTELE television: "We are almost certain it is those two individuals holed up in that building."


A French special forces member signals as he takes position on a rooftop of the complex at the scene of a hostage taking at an industrial zone in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris. PHOTO: REUTERS


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5:00pm

For Didier the salesman, a humdrum meeting with a client at a printing business outside of Paris on Friday turned into a run-in with France’s most wanted men as he “shook hands” with one of the magazine massacre suspects.

The salesman told France Inter radio how he came face-to-face with one of the suspects holed up in the small CTD office in Dammartin-en-Goele, about half-an-hour north of the capital.

“When I arrived my client came out with an armed man who said he was from the police. My client told me to leave so I left,” Didier said, identifying the man he was to meet with as Michel.

“I was in front of the door. I shook Michel’s hand and I shook the hand of one of the terrorists.”

Read full story here.

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4:45pm

A police source told Reuters that the man who killed a policewoman in a southern suburb of Paris on Thursday and fled the scene was a member of the same group as the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

The source said the three men were all members of the same Paris cell that a decade ago sent young French volunteers to Iraq to fight US forces. Cherif Kouachi served 18 months in prison for his role in the group.

Western security services had been keen to trace any links between the two suspects and militants overseas. A senior Yemeni intelligence source told Reuters one of the two was in Yemen for several months in 2011 for religious studies.

The danger of hostage taking or of a second attack has been a central concern of security services since the attack that has rocked France and raised questions about policing, militancy, religion and censorship.


French police officers stand guard in front of the headquarters of French newspaper Liberation as editorial staff of French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo and Liberation meet, on January 9, 2015 in Paris. PHOTO: AFP


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3:00pm

As police cornered the suspected gunmen, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said France is at "war" with terrorism, but not religion.

"We are in a war against terrorism. We are not in a war against religion, against a civilisation," Valls said.

Valls added it would "certainly be necessary to take new measures" to response to extremist threats.

He said that current policies had resulted in five attacks being foiled since August 2013.

"We knew we could be hit," he said, adding he had no doubt the French would emerge stronger from the incident.

"What are terrorists looking for? To create fear, to pit the French against each other -- and we must be stronger than that."


A police van is parked outside the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo's office on January 9, 2015 in Paris. PHOTO: AFP


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2:30pm

Questions mounted as to how a pair well-known for militant views could have slipped through the net and attack Charlie Hebdo, apparently in revenge for the weekly's repeated publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).

Cherif Kouachi was a known militant convicted in 2008 for involvement in a network sending fighters to Iraq.

Said, his brother, has been "formally identified" as the main attacker in Wednesday's bloodbath. Both brothers were born in Paris to Algerian parents.

A senior US administration official told AFP that one of the two brothers was believed to have trained with al Qaeda in Yemen, while another source said that the pair had been on a US terror watch list "for years".

The brothers were both flagged in a US database as terror suspects, and also on the no-fly list, meaning they were barred from flying into the United States, the officials said.

The Islamic State group's radio praised them as "heroes" and Somalia's Shebab militants, al Qaeda's main affiliate in Africa, praised the massacre as a "heroic" act.

COMMENTS (29)

Thotatum25 | 6 years ago | Reply

@Bewildered: Not just "bewildered" but brainwashed as well!

sharabi | 6 years ago | Reply

@goggi (Lahore) I attend Friday prayer in a park nearby to my office area.I have never come across a single hateful speech against anyone (That might be because It is India). So in my view there are still a few Good Maulvis available in India. The solution: I am very firm & sure that if will come across any hate speech in any Friday Prayer I will stand & will object. This is the real solution everyone should speak against any evil.

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