Accessibility links

French Forces Kill Charlie Hebdo Suspects, Hostage Taker

  • RFE/RL

French police have stormed two hostage sites in and around Paris, killing three hostage takers, including two suspects in the January 7 Charlie Hebdo massacre.

But French President Francois Hollande said four other people also were killed in a kosher market in eastern Paris where a gunman seized a group of hostages.

Hollande called their deaths an act of anti-Semitism.

Two Al-Qaeda-linked brothers suspected in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were shot dead by security forces after they emerged, firing automatic assault rifles, from a printing plant in Dammartin-en-Goele where they had been cornered earlier on January 9.

The raid on the Paris market killed 32-year-old Amedy Coulibaly moments after the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo suspects.

Coulibaly had threatened to kill his hostages if authorities attacked the besieged Charlie Hebdo suspects.

Live television broadcasts showed several other hostages being evacuated from the market after the raid.

A combo photo released on January 9 by the French police shows Hayat Boumeddiene (left) and Amedy Coulibaly, suspected of being involved in the killing of a policewoman in Montrouge on January 8.

A combo photo released on January 9 by the French police shows Hayat Boumeddiene (left) and Amedy Coulibaly, suspected of being involved in the killing of a policewoman in Montrouge on January 8.

Police said Coulibaly was thought to be the same gunman who killed a French policewoman in southern Paris on January 8.

French media reports say a suspected accomplice of Coulibaly, 26-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene, also has been killed.

But other reports suggested authorities were still searching for her.

It was not immediately clear if Boumeddiene had been in the market with Coulibaly.

Police said Coulibaly was known to be an acquaintance of at least one of the Kouachi brothers, the two men accused of killing 12 people at the office of Charlie Hebdo on January 7.

Before he was shot dead by police, Coulibaly told French television told BFM-TV by telephone that claimed to have received instructions from the radical militant group Islamic State (IS). He said he wanted to defend Palestinians and target Jews.

The broadcaster also talked on the phone with Kouachi, who claimed to be sent by Al-Qaeda in Yemen.

WATCH: Explosions and gun shots were heard in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele as French police launched an assault on two brothers wanted for the January 7 attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. (Reuters)

Reuters quoted a senior Yemeni intelligence source as saying Said Kouachi, 34, visited Yemen in 2011 and met the late Al-Qaeda preacher Anwar al Awlaki during his stay.

Both Kouachis are on the United States' no-fly list of suspected terrorists.

Cherif Kouachi, 32, was convicted of terrorism charges in 2008 for his links to a network sending Islamic militants to fight against U.S. forces in Iraq.

In an address to the nation, Hollande called for "vigilance, unity, and mobilization."

"We must demonstrate our determination to fight against everything that can divide us. And most importantly be implacable toward racism and anti-Semitism," he said.

Muslim places of worship in several French towns have been targeted since the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. The attacks, which have included shots being fired and blank grenades thrown, have not harmed anyone.

Photos released by French police show suspects Cherif Kouachi (left) and his brother Said Kouachi

Photos released by French police show suspects Cherif Kouachi (left) and his brother Said Kouachi

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared that France is at "war" with terrorism, but "not in a war against religion."

The Islamic State militant group has praised the Charlie Hebdo massacre, calling the gunmen "heroic jihadists."

Hollande and other European leaders are expected to join a mass unity rally in Paris on January 11.

EU chief Donald Tusk said the European Union's next scheduled summit on February 12 will discuss antiterrorism efforts.

In Tennessee, U.S. President Barack Obama rallied to the support of France, saying "the United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow."

On January 9, surviving employees of Charlie Hebdo started work on a new issue in premises loaned by the newspaper Liberation.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, BBC, Sky News, CNN, and RTL
XS
SM
MD
LG