Paris shooting: Hostage crisis ends, 3 gunmen killed, some hostages dead
Dammartin-en-Goele (France): Two suspects believed to have carried out an Islamist massacre at the office of Charlie Hebdo have been killed in Dammartin-en-Goele, where they had holed up with a hostage. A gunman, who had been holding at least five hostages in a kosher market in eastern Paris, has also been killed, bringing the dual hostage crisis in France to an end.
Paris shooting: I shook his hand, says French salesman
The hostage held by the two brothers has been freed. Reports suggested that some hostages were killed in the supermarket, while some ran out after the police conducted an assault.
A screengrab taken from an AFP TV video shows a general view of members of the French police special forces launching the assault at a kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris. Pic/AFP
Security forces stormed the grocery store minutes after gunfire and explosions were reported in the building where the brothers were holed up.
French elite forces had surrounded the brothers suspected of slaughtering 12 people in the Islamist massacre at Charlie Hebdo as a fresh shooting and hostage drama erupted at a kosher supermarket on Friday in eastern Paris.
Snipers were deployed on roofs and helicopters swooped low over a small printing business in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, only 12 kilometres from Paris's main Charles de Gaulle airport.
And in the east of the French capital, a man already suspected of gunning down a policewoman yesterday was thought to be behind a new attack on the kosher grocery store, with at least five hostages taken and at least one injured.
Members of the GIGN (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group) sit in a helicopter flying over Dammartin-en-Goele. Photo: AFP
The Porte de Vincennes area in eastern Paris was locked down with people told to stay indoors and police streaming into the streets.
Police sources said there was a "connection" between this gunman and the brothers accused of carrying out France's bloodiest massacre in half a century at the Charlie Hebdo offices.
The massive manhunt for the two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, appeared to be approaching a dramatic climax as security forces laid siege to the CDT printing business in Dammartin-en-Goele.
Ahead of the stand-off, police had already exchanged fire with the pair in a high-speed car chase. Prosecutors told AFP there had been "no casualties reported" in the immediate aftermath of the shoot-out.
One witness described coming face-to-face at the printer's with one of the suspects, dressed in black, wearing
a bullet-proof vest and carrying what looked like a Kalashnikov.
The witness told France Info radio that the man said: "'Leave, we don't kill civilians anyhow'."
A helicopter flies over Dammartin-en-Goele where shots were fired and at least one hostage was taken in the same area police were hunting for two brothers accused of slaughtering 12 people in an Islamist assault, on January 9, 2015. Photo: AFP
Schools nearby Dammartin-en-Goele were evacuated and residents barricaded themselves indoors as the hostage drama unfolded.
One 60-year-old choked back tears as she said how elite forces burst into the shop where her daughter works and
ordered them to take cover.
"My daughter told me: 'Don't be scared mummy, we're well protected. She was calm but me, I'm scared. I'm really
scared," said the woman.
Prior to the standoff, the suspects had hijacked a Peugeot 206 nearby from a woman who said she recognised them as the brothers, accused of killing 12 people in Wednesday's attack on Charlie Hebdo.
President Francois Hollande rushed to the interior meeting to be briefed on the situation as Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that France was at "war" with terrorism, but "not in a war against religion."
The frantic search for the pair suspected of committing the worst atrocity on French soil in more than half a century came as it emerged they had been on a US terror watch list "for years".
Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi and their apparent accomplice Amedy Coulibaly
And as fears spread in the wake of the attack, the head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5 warned that Islamist militants were planning other "mass casualty attacks against the West" and that intelligence services may be powerless to stop them.
Wednesday's bloodbath at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris has sparked a global chorus of outrage, with impromptu and poignant rallies around the world in support of press freedom under the banner "jesuischarlie" (I am Charlie).
US President Barack Obama was the latest to sign a book of condolence in Washington with the message "Vive la France!" as thousands gathered in Paris on a day of national mourning Thursday, and the Eiffel Tower dimmed its lights to honour the dead.
And as a politically divided and crisis-hit France sought to pull together in the wake of the tragedy, the head of the country's Muslim community -- the largest in Europe -- urged imams to condemn terrorism at Friday prayers.
In a highly unusual step, President Francois Hollande was due to meet far-right leader Marine Le Pen at the Elysee Palace later today, as France geared up for a "Republican march" on Sunday expected to draw hundreds of thousands.
French authorities raised the security alert to the highest possible level in the region of Picardy, to the northeast of Paris, as forces tightened their noose on the brothers, Cherif Kouachi, 32 and Said, 34.
Around 24 hours into the manhunt, the brothers were identified after holding up a petrol station 80 kilometres from Paris.
Helicopters buzzed overhead during the night and paramilitary forces were preparing to step up their house-to-house searches.
Two suspects believed to have carried out an Islamist massacre at the office of Charlie Hebdo have been killed in Dammartin-en-Goele
where they had holed up with a hostage. A gunman, who had been holding at least five hostages in a kosher market in eastern Paris,
has also been killed, bringing the dual hostage crisis in France to an end.
A screengrab taken from an AFP TV video shows a general view of members of the French police special forces launching the assault at a kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris